16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Shafak teaches us about love and Sufis,
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This review is from: The Forty Rules of Love (Paperback)
Having read The Flea Palace and The Bastard of Istanbul by the same author, I couldn't wait to start on this novel.
Shafak's style is inventive, erudite and playful; she moves between present day USA, where Ella, a middle aged woman, is researching the background to a book for her publisher boss, to a story within a story (the story of the poet Rumi, famous for his verses about Love, and his friendship with a Sufi mystic), and her developing friendship through correspondence with the writer of the book. Shafak, as a psychologist, is concerned with what makes people tick; in this novel, the answer seems to be, Love - love for each other, and love for God/Nature/spiritual fulfilment. I can't think of any other author with her breadth of experience of different cultures (USA, Turkey), her ability to present copious amounts of historical research as entirely naturalistic detail, and her understanding of the human psyche. A fantastic read.