Book: Damascena: The Tale of Roses and Rumi
Author: Holly Lynn Payn
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Holly Payne's spellbinding tale brings the unparalleled poet, Mevlana Rumi, to life, and transports readers to the enchanting world of 13th century Persia. Simply but elegantly told, the story unravels the mystery surrounding a legendary orphaned girl, who discovers her gift of turning roses into oil. Named after the flowering rosa damascena, the girl reluctantly assumes the role of a living saint for the miracles she performs-longing for the only one that matters: finding her mother. Deeply wounded by the separation since birth, Damascena undergoes a riveting transformation when she meets Rumi and finally discovers the secret of the rose. Imbued with rich historical research and inspired by the devastating disappearance of Rumi's most lauded spiritual companion, Shams of Tabriz, Holly Payne has courageously opened herself to receive Rumi's teachings and offer a timeless love story.
Holly has crafted a story that drips with the beauty of the rose. With every turn of the page of the story I found myself being pulled more and more into the story, delving into the world held within the pages. This is the story of a saint, a girl, from her journey to birth until she has completed her task of the divine as she discovers the secret of the rose.
I'll admit a first, I had a difficult time pulling myself into the book. It was slow going at the start, though I thought the story was intriguing I couldn't progress into the story as quickly as I wanted. And maybe that was point, to go slow and digest the story at the beginning, to take it all in and really think about it all. As I delved deeper into the story, I found myself reading more and more, consuming the words as though they were as the sun was for Shams. I was suddenly reading with great speed and excitement, needing to know what happened next. I found myself pausing at their riddles, and finding myself thinking of them when I placed the book down, contemplating their meaning and thinking how it spoke to me about my own life no matter how long ago those words may had been said.
My heart pounded at some parts as I read this book, at many parts of this work actually. I held my breath at some points, finding myself softly praying that what I had read wasn't true, that so much hardship hadn't befallen onto a girl who was born with the gift to turn roses into oil. It was as though I had traveled the journey with Damascena, was with her from the beginning of her birth, her reluctance to accept the gift she possessed to the final moments where she had finally accomplished almost all she needed to do in the world and was about to embrace her final task.
All in all, I found this book to be extremely fascinating and at times utterly spell binding, give it a review of 4 out of 5 stars.
"“I’m no miracle worker. You can’t turn shit into wine!”
“Beauty is cunning, that is why the truth can often be very ugly.”
If you could see the ugliest leper with the eyes of love, his beauty would out-dazzle the starlit sea.
She wanted to spit on the stones they walked on. And she told him. “What good will that do? You will only have wet stones.”
“Yes. Better for them to slip.”
“But it is you who might end up slipping and falling.
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