My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
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. Inspiring and magical, the story of Damascena transmits the wisdom of the heart, inviting us to transform our pain into love. ~From Goodreads~
Despite the fact that this piece has a lot of positive review, I have to share my reasons why I'm giving it a 2.5. To be honest, I DNFed it. Not because the story in totality is not attractive at all. It is indeed intriguing. In fact, it has a mysterious appeal that made me read up until around 3/4 of the story. However, the pacing of the story is really slow which made my interest in the story fade away.
In the beginning, it was really mysterious and I found myself wanting more. The truth is that there are actually parts that was really thrilling and they were my favorite parts. It was when she left the monastery and became a young mysterious rose gardener who became famous to neighboring villages and persecuted by others. Damascena's life indeed is a roller coaster ride. One moment, she was just an orphan girl in the monastery, then she became a rose gardener, became a saint and so on.
Too many roller coaster ride in Damascena's life made my interest in the story fade away.
I couldn't picture how the plot goes on anymore especially after her near death experience when Ivan burned the place where Damascena made her rose oil. Then Rumi came to the picture and the plot becomes too heavy and too slow paced to handle. Another thing is that I was really disappointed with the secrets, corruption, abuse, hypocrisy and murder were also represented in the monastery and that got me disappointed in a personal way.
So, that's 2.5 for now.