The Golem and the Jinni

This historical fantasy (496 pages) was published in April of 2013 by Anchor. The book takes you to turn-of-the-century New York. Melissa read The Golem and the Jinni and loved it; it wouldn't be on our site if she didn't recommend it.

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The Golem and the Jinni

A Novel

Helene Wecker

This fantastic and fantastical novel transports you to turn-of-the-century New York. It tells the tale of two unforgettable characters whose unlikely friendship is the beating heart of this unusual immigrant story.

Chava is a female golem, created in Poland to be the companion of a man who never makes it to the New World. Ahmad is a fiery Egyptian Jinni who’s been trapped in a copper flask he finds tricky to truly escape.

A Jewish golem, an Arab jin — they should be opposites, enemies, unable to forgive or understand each other.

But they surprise themselves and us by forging a bond that eventually demolishes the obstacles — internal and external — that divide them. Just as it seems they’ve found a friendship to endure the ages, fate intervenes, and everything they treasure is at risk.

Along the way, there’s plenty of adventure, romance, danger, friendship, and brutal tests of that friendship. Wecker deftly weaves a tapestry of Middle Eastern tradition, Yiddish lore, and American history — then sprinkles it with just the right amount of magic dust. It’s suspenseful, tender, and always surprising.

All of us are lonely at some point or another, no matter how any people surround us. And then, we meet someone who seems to understand. She smiles, and for a moment the loneliness disappears. — Helene Wecker

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