Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Golem and the Jinni by Helen Wecker

My rating:  4.9

The Golem and the Jinni is an amazingly crafted magical fairy tale that weaves history, magic and religion together. The description of this book captures it better than I ever could:

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.. 

The only thing I didn't like about this novel is that it is Helene Wecker's first novel. I can only say that I hope she writes quickly!

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