Damascena: the tale of roses and Rumi

(image: http://hollylynnpayne.com/books/damascena/)

Damascena: the tale of roses and Rumi
Author: Holly Lynn Payne
348 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Skywriter Books, June 2014
Source: Free copy via publisher

Young Damascena ( named after the rosa damascena) is an orphan born in a monastery in Bulgaria. She is raised by a cruel monk, but as an adolescent flees him and discovers her gift for turning roses into rose oil. She then travels to Turkey where she meets Rumi, who recognizes her as his final spiritual companion, and unlocks the secret of the rose.

I admire Rumi, but don't know much about him. Even though this is a work of fiction the setting, characters, and dialogue seemed so real that I felt I got to know him a little better. It's a beautifully written book. A little slow going at times but worth the read. So, I'm giving it...

1/2 teacups


Here's what others are saying:

Damascena is a stunner. Holly Payne takes us into the yearning at the heart of the mystic’s search.
She turns the Sufi quest for connection with God into a human drama that is both moving and soaring.”
 
Tamim Ansary, author of Games without Rules: The Often-Interrupted History of Afghanistan

Holly Payne has deftly captured the magic, beauty, and ecstatic energy of the Sufi's ancient sema dance with her story about a girl, Damascena, whose
life transcends her own world, and ours. The prose transports the reader creating astonishing characters and at times, a thriller-like the plot, carrying
us into a world that is part hallucination and part real as Payne weaves in themes of loss, beauty, devotion, evil, struggle, magic, and, ultimately, love. “
David Ewing Duncan, best-selling author of Experimental Man: What one man's body reveals about his future, your health, and our toxic world


“Holly Payne's latest novel touches Jelaluddin Rumi's essential beauty within the fragrance of 13th century Turkey and the rich tapestry of his life as a
mystic, poet and honored scholar. Payne exposes the very human challenges Rumi encountered as he grew into one of the greatest poets of all time.”
Murshida Mariam Baker, author of Woman as Divine: Tales of the Goddess senior teacher, Sufi Ruhaniat International and the Mevlevi Order of America

This is one of the most gorgeous novels I've ever read. Payne’s research was so thorough. It makes me want to learn more about the dervishes, their religious
practices, and about Rumi and his achingly beautiful poetry. The themes of forgiveness, spirituality and all the different forms of love resonated with me on every page.”
Laura Marquez, Emmy Winner and former ABC News Correspondent


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