The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
Age range: Adult
Hardcover: 496 pages
Publisher: Harper; First Edition edition (April 23, 2013)
Genre: Fantasy/historical fiction
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
About the Book:
In The Golem and the Jinni, a chance meeting between mythical beings takes readers on a dazzling journey through cultures in turn-of-the-century New York.
Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life to by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic and dies at sea on the voyage from Poland. Chava is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York harbor in 1899.
Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire born in the ancient Syrian desert, trapped in an old copper flask, and released in New York City, though still not entirely free
Ahmad and Chava become unlikely friends and soul mates with a mystical connection. Marvelous and compulsively readable, Helene Wecker’s debut novel The Golem and the Jinni weaves strands of Yiddish and Middle Eastern literature, historical fiction and magical fable, into a wondrously inventive and unforgettable tale.
A breathtaking tale of two very different creatures posing as humans, their trials, triumphs, and the lives they affect. It was beautiful and epic and I only wish I’d read it sooner. I loved how there were so many characters who’s lives intertwined, often without them even knowing each other. I loved this story.
The characters were rich and real and I felt like I knew each one personally. They were each complex and interesting in their own way. I loved the setting of historic New York and ancient Syria and the connection between the two. The ending was imperfect, yet complete. It left me hopeful, yet sad for several of the characters.
If you haven’t read this yet, I would highly recommend it!
Content: Some violence and non-descriptive sex. Nothing graphic.