A woman fashioned from mud by a Jewish magician and a jinni under a spell who can only access a fraction of his natural powers--each of these fantastical but believable creatures must find themselves a way to survive in New York City--she among the Orthodox Jews, he among the Muslim immigrant community. At the start, their stories are told in parallel narratives, but there's no doubt that the threads will connect and intertwine before too long. A totally absorbing tale of alienation, compassion, frustration, suspense, and romance. Enhanced by a memorable cast of supporting actors, we are given deep insights into the Islamic and Judaic traditions plus a helluva good read. --BOB'S STAFF PICKS
Have you ever read a book that was so good you didn't want it to end? That is how I felt about The Golem and the Jinni. I read each page, at once entranced by the amazing story and well-written characters, while also saddened that each page brought me closer to the end. Wecker weaves together a beautiful story, full of complex and interesting characters, poignant moments, inner struggle, and one of the most perfect endings I've ever read. She expertly blends the realms of magic and imagination with the world of turn-of-the-century New York City. Perfect for lovers of imaginative fiction, or anyone who enjoys a good story, The Golem and the Jinni will not disappoint. --JESSIE'S STAFF PICKS
Indie Next ListMay 2013
I think I missed the deadline for May, but I'm a strong believer in better late than never. Sorry!!! Helene Wecker’s debut novel, The Golem and the Jinni, takes a magical flight back to turn of the century New York. The Golem is a woman cast from clay – the Jinni springs from fire. Both are old world denizens in a very new world, a world and a time exquisitely rendered by Wecker. And while the most obvious elements of the novel are fantastical, with much of its magic being dark, at its heart The Golem and the Jinni brims emotionally over with love and loss, with longing and what it means to belong – or not. Wecker is part novelist, part alchemist – leaving the reader to wonder how she gave such vibrant life to her characters. --Nick Petrulakis Manager, Books Inc., Alameda -- Nick Petrulakis, Books Inc., Alameda, CA
Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. 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.
Struggling to make their way in 1899 New York, the Golem and the Jinni try to fit in with their immigrant neighbors while masking their true selves. Meeting by chance, they become 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 menace will soon bring the Golem and the Jinni together again, threatening their existence and forcing them to make a fateful choice.
Marvelous and compulsively readable, The Golem and the Jinni weaves strands of folk mythology, historical fiction, and magical fable into a wondrously inventive and unforgettable tale.