The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi is a very different story in which parallel stories, set in different centuries and different countries are told.
Ella Rubenstein is a 40 year old American housewife who is in a marital rut. Married for 20 years, she has a husband who may be unfaithful, three children she runs from place to place, and she longs for something more. Ella accepts a job as a reader for a literary agent, and her first assignment is to read and review an unsolicited manuscript called: Sweet Blasphemy. As she begins her assignment written by a man named Aziz Zahara, she is immediately drawn into the story. It is a story about a world famous poet and Sufi mystic, Rumi, who like Ella struggles with feeling of emptiness and loneliness in his life. In this story Rumi's world is transformed when he meets a whirling dervish known as Shams of Tabritz.
The "forty rules of love" are both timeless and beautifully expressed, so much so, that they begin to deeply effect Ella. Soon she emails the author and they begin a correspondence. She is so taken by what she has read that she begins to wonder if Aziz might be the secret to her happiness, as the Shams of Tabritz was to Rumi in the story.
MY THOUGHTS - This was my first book by this author, but now I am anxious to read her earlier book : The Bastard of Istanbul. I really loved the audio version of this novel. It was read by Laural Merlington who did a terrific job. At first, I was worried that this story might be a sappy romance, but that was not the case at all. The writing was beautiful and lyrical. If I had one small complaint it would be the fact that the author used the word dervish ad nauseam. Seriously, after what seemed like the hundredth time, I started to get a little annoyed. Please don't let this minor complaint discourage you, because it truly is a special book. It's just the type of story that may have the power to transform your life in some small way.
RECOMMENDED - (4.5/5 stars) - Library audio book