Empat Puluh Kaidah Cinta

Title: Forty Rules of Love
Author: Elif Shafak
Interpreter: Indah Lestari
Publisher: KPG (Kepustakaan Populer Gramedia)
May 2014
492 pages

How we see God is a direct reflection of how we see ourselves. If God brings to mind mostly fear and blame, it means there is too much fear and blame welled inside us. If we see God as full of love and compassion, so are we.
I just finished reading a wonderful tale of love and spiritual longing written by a Turkish writer, Elif Shafak, and I feel so caught up in the characters and the plot. This just one of the best books I read during this year.

This is a story of Ella, a forty-year-old  American woman, who has an unhappy marriage. She has three teenage kids who are busy with their own life and an unfaithful husband. Bored with her life, one day Ella 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. The novel is about the great Sufi mystic poet, Rumi, and how he encountered his spiritual mentor, the controversial Shams of Tabriz. As Ella reads on, she realizes that Rumi's story mirrors her own stories. She is so mesmerized by the tale and decides to start emailing the author, Aziz. This relationship will soon have life-changing consequences. 

Let's enjoy these two parallel love stories. It's not an ordinary love story. It's a story as part of the forty rules of love. The author will take us back and forth between Ella's life in modern era and Rumi's story back in 13th century. These characters from different times: a modern American housewife and a thirteenth century poet turn out to have similar universal theme. It's a struggle between a rational mind and the aching heart. Very impressive. 

For me, the story is quite heartwarming. Beautiful words spread all over the pages. I got lots of new awesome quotes. What I love most is the facts from Rumi and Shams' biographies, the author successfully bring them all to life. A must read. A book that will make you feel, wonder and walk away thoughtfully with a little more love and compassion on your own. 
Hell is here and now. So is heaven. Quit worrying about hell and dreaming about heaven, as they are both present inside this very moment. Every time we fall in love, we ascend to heaven. Every time we hate, envy, or fight someone, we tumble straight into the fires of hell.