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The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak 📚



The Forty Rules of Love is a novel by Elif Shafak that explores the themes of love, spirituality, and mysticism. The novel is divided into two parallel narratives: one set in contemporary times and the other in 13th-century Syria, during the time of the famous Sufi poet Rumi.


The contemporary storyline follows Ella Rubinstein, a middle-aged woman who is unhappy with her life and marriage. She takes on a job as a reader for a literary agency and is given a manuscript to read called Sweet Blasphemy, written by a man named Aziz Zahara. The novel tells the story of the relationship between Rumi and his spiritual mentor, Shams of Tabriz.


As Ella reads the manuscript, she becomes increasingly drawn to the story and to Aziz himself, who she begins to correspond with via email. Meanwhile, the story of Rumi and Shams unfolds in the past narrative, with Shams introducing Rumi to the concept of divine love and leading him on a spiritual journey that transforms him into a renowned poet and mystic.

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