This is getting me grumpier

A screeching commercial in between my attempts at “normal” book blogging! Aherm. Among my current reads is The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak. I bought it on impulse [naturally]. I am yet to reach the twentieth page, but already the outrage had me careening to WordPress, to y’all.

Here’s the gist: Ella Rubenstein, recently accused of being an unhappy housewife, needs to read a manuscript for her new job. Goody for her. The manuscript’s called Sweet Blasphemy, and it’s a novel on mystic poet Rumi, and its title is cringe-inducing. Anyhoo. She gets into an argument with her eldest daughter, who wants to marry because it’s lurve, and later, Ella finally settles down to read the manuscript. Thus:

Little did she know that this was going to be not just any book, but the book that changed her life. In the time she was reading it, her life would be rewritten.

Are you fucking kidding me?

The alarm bells went a-clanging with this snippet of sentimental, graceless tripe. This was not being self-aware, this was being so incredibly yucky with schmaltz and Lifestyle Network kind of epiphany. This so does not help my bored-grumpy mood.

Ah, but there’s more. Because Ella actually begins to read the manuscript:

For despite what some people say, love is not only a sweet feeling bound to come and quickly go away.

Her jaw dropped as she realized this was the contradiction of the exact sentence she had spoken to her daughter in the kitchen earlier in the day. She stood still for a moment, shivering with the thought that some mysterious force in the universe, or else this writer, whoever he might be, was spying on her. Perhaps he had written this book knowing beforehand what kind of person was going to read it first. This writer had her in mind as his reader. For some reason unbeknownst to her, Ella found the idea both disturbing and exciting.

Seriously? Really, now? Why are you doing this to me? Why are you supposed to be a really good book? Why do I want to cackle at you, and then slink off under a shower to sob? How does one move forward from this? How?

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5 comments

  1. Cackling is what I did at those two passages. Um, I hope it gets better? I am not sure if I would continue reading after that.

  2. Hi! I just started looking at your blog, and your posts are so interesting to read. It’s refreshing to read a book blog coming from a more personal perspective. I was just wondering if you could maybe post some more pictures of your reading journals and notes and possibly write about how you take notes. That would be really interesting for those of us that read straight through but are interested in taking a more studied approach. Also, how do you keep all those post it’s organized?

    Just an idea. Keep up the good work! :)

    1. Hi, Melissa. Thank you so much for visiting me, especially in the blog’s dusty-musty condition, haha. You may have already come across this post about my slighty-icky neat writing habit. I think it’s time for an update, because my system has changed since then, I’ve found. Heh. Thank you for the nudge, and I am a little awed that someone would be curious about my freakishness, haha.

  3. […] [Although I am also aware—and confident—that this proclamation ownership has not yet reached the prose-sickening stylings of one Elif Shafak.] I realize now that a more politic way of saying so is looking at through the […]

  4. Haha, that is quite something else! I have to say I had similar thoughts when I read Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchimist” a few years ago. You just put them into words so perfectly :)

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