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The Forty Rules of Love is a breathtaking piece by Elif Shafak, who took the reader on a memorable journey through love, religion, mysticism and many more through her beautiful words.
This book is a perfect example of “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”. Some may think this book is about a kind of a guide book to be a success in love, well it is in a way, but in the most poetic and unexpected way possible.
The story starts with Ella having an existential crisis over a book she is reviewing. With Ella, we take up on a journey in search of love that is beyond the understanding of an average mind.
Does this book talk about love? Friendship? Companionship? Love of God? Self-Love? Religion? Meaning of life as a whole? Yes, yes and yes to all of the above. Shafak took us on a journey with Shams a Sufi in search of a companion who can mirror him and give a meaning to his solitude. When he finds Rumi, anyone who understands solitude will ache to have a companionship like Shams and Rumi.
“I have never been to a tavern before and have never consumed wine. I don’t think drinking is the right thing to do. But I trust you fully, because I trust the Love between us”
– Rumi to Shams
These beautiful words, as simple as it might be, revealed a prospect of the heights of trust and love a person could have for another. This level of trust as purely a concept of fiction as it can be in this modern times, it makes one think how much human beings are capable when it comes to love and ache for a time where it could be possible.
The forty rules that is spread across the entire story is not just a rule for just common kind of love between a man and a woman, but for forty kinds of love and more. None of the two rules address the same kind of love. As you explore the rules one by one, you fall in love with god, with life, with yourself, with your ability to love, with another person, with humans in general and the list goes on till it come to a point where you fall in love with love itself.
After reading this book, you will never see life and the rest of the world the same way again. It will take you apart and put you back piece by piece in the most poetic way possible.