MLA Gold Award Site

The Forty Rules of Love: Book summary and reviews of The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak

The Forty Rules of Love

A Novel of Rumi

by Elif Shafak

The Forty Rules of Love
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published in USA  Feb 2010
    368 pages
    Genre: Novels

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

In this lyrical, exuberant follow-up to her 2007 novel, The Bastard of Istanbul, acclaimed Turkish author Elif Shafak unfolds two tantalizing parallel narratives - one contemporary and the other set in the thirteenth century, when Rumi encountered his spiritual mentor, the whirling dervish known as Shams of Tabriz - that together incarnate the poet's timeless message of love.

Ella Rubenstein is forty years old and unhappily married when she takes a job as a reader for a literary agent. Her first assignment is to read and report on Sweet Blasphemy, a novel written by a man named Aziz Zahara. Ella is mesmerized by his tale of Shams's search for Rumi and the dervish's role in transforming the successful but unhappy cleric into a committed mystic, passionate poet, and advocate of love. She is also taken with Shams's lessons, or rules, that offer insight into an ancient philosophy based on the unity of all people and religions, and the presence of love in each and every one of us. As she reads on, she realizes that Rumi's story mir­rors her own and that Zahara-like Shams-has come to set her free.

Read a Sample

Click to the right or left of the sample to turn the page.
(If no book jacket appears in a few seconds, then we don't have an excerpt of this book or your browser is unable to display it)

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Shafak’s seductive, shrewd, and affecting novel brilliantly revives the revelations of Shams and Rumi, and daringly illuminates the differences between religion and spirituality, censure and compassion, fear and love of life in our own violent world." - Booklist "This novel, a best seller in Turkey, may appeal to fans of Nicholas Sparks or Robert James Waller." - Library Journal

"Celebrated Turkish novelist Shafak serves up a curious blend of mediocre hen lit and epic historical to underwhelming results." - Publishers Weekly

"Shafak should have dropped Ella's story, with its preachy spiritual ruminations, and stuck to Rumi's odyssey, which opens a window into a world Westerners know little about." - Kirkus Reviews

"[An} appealing fable ... The universal theme is the struggle between the rational mind and the aching heart. Shafak’s heroine yields to the latter and never looks back." - More Magazine (more.com)

The information about The Forty Rules of Love shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Author Information

Elif Shafak Author Biography

Photo: Ebru Bilun

Elif Shafak was born in Strasbourg, France, in 1971. She is an award-winning novelist and the most widely read woman writer in Turkey. Her books have been translated into more than thirty languages. Shafak has published ten books, seven of which are novels. She writes in both Turkish and English. Shafak blends Western and Eastern traditions of storytelling, bringing out the multiple stories of minorities, immigrants, women subcultures and global souls. Her work draws on diverse cultures and literary traditions, as well as deep interest in history, philosophy, oral culture, and cultural politics.

Shafak's writing breaks down categories, clichés, and cultural ghettoes, bringing out the multiple stories of minorities, immigrants, women, subcultures and global souls. She also has ...

Full Biography
Author Interview
Link to Elif Shafak's Website

Other books by Elif Shafak at BookBrowse
  • The Bastard of Istanbul jacket
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more novels...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Victoria
by Daisy Goodwin

"A hit…The research is impeccable, the attention to detail, perfect." - The Sunday Mirror (UK)

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Second Mrs. Hockaday
    by Susan Rivers

    A love story, a story of racial divide, and a story of the South as it fell in the war.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win No Man's Land

No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien

Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.

Enter

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: A List of Cages
    A List of Cages
    by Robin Roe
    Robin Roe has written one helluva young adult debut novel. Alternating first person narratives by a ...
  • Book Jacket: Homesick for Another World
    Homesick for Another World
    by Ottessa Moshfegh
    The frizzy, freaky, funky, and frazzled all pile on in this much anticipated short story collection ...
  • Book Jacket: Conclave
    Conclave
    by Robert Harris
    Although best known for his fact-based historical thrillers, in Conclave, best-selling author Robert...

Word Play

Solve this clue:

H W S W T Devil S H A L S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.