Review: The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

edenskeeper March 16, 2015 0 Book Reviews


The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker 

Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark  GolemJinni-PB-199x300Kabbalistic magic. When her master, the husband who commissioned her, dies at sea on the voyage from
Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York in 1899.

Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop. Though he is no longer imprisoned, Ahmad is not entirely free – an unbreakable band of iron binds him to the physical world.

The Golem and the Jinni is their magical, unforgettable story; unlikely friends whose tenuous attachment challenges their opposing natures – until the night a terrifying incident drives them back into their separate worlds. But a powerful threat will soon bring Chava and Ahmad together again, challenging their existence and forcing them to make a fateful choice.

I listened to this as an audiobook and the experience was magical and transcendent. Gorgeously narrated by the amazing George Guidall, The Golem and The Jinni is an ode to the human condition.

While golems and jinns may resemble humans physically, they are far from human in nature. Wecker creates a thoughtful and provocative study of humanity’s best and worst attributes through the eyes of these mystical beings. As we share Chava and Ahmad’s struggles to blend into society and live as humans, we are gifted with detailed descriptions of a growing New York City, its neighborhoods, and denizens. Richly detailed characters, world building and story-lines, painstakingly evolve into a tale about morality, self-preservation and community.

Bottom Line: If you are a fan of The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, this book is for you!

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