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.
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 their bond. 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.
‘I trust you above all others,’ he told her. ‘Above myself.’ She shook her head, but then leaned into him, as though taking shelter. He drew her close, the crown of her head beneath his cheek. Beyond the hansom’s window, New York was an endless rhythm of walls and windows and doors, darkened alleys, flashes of sunlight. he thought, if he could pick a moment to be taken into the flask, a moment to live in endlessly, perhaps he would choose this one: the passing city, and the woman at his side. — Helene Wecker
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