The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker


What it’s about:

A woman made of clay and a man made of fire collide in the Big Apple. While this may sound like an odd joke, The Golem and the Jinni is actually a fascinating tale that takes place in the Jewish and Syrian quarters of turn-of-the-century New York City. The story follows rabbis, a baker, an heiress, a metalsmith, an ice cream man… and these two unusual characters who have unexpectedly become the newest inhabitants of the bustling city. As the Golem and the Jinni begin to make their way in America while trying to disguise their powers, they run across troubles and villains that will threaten their fragile relationships and their very lives.

Why I liked it:

I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that integrates genres as beautifully as the Golem and the Jinni. Wecker treats the tale like a historical fiction, into which two incredibly rich magical characters have stumbled. The very human aches of the typical American immigrant narrative lay side-by-side with characters who can read thoughts and conjure fire for their cigarettes. Wecker has complete control over her story, drawing the characters closer and closer until suddenly the reader realizes that they’ve been entertwined the entire time. Consistent, beautiful and captivating, the Golem and the Jinni surprised me by being one of the most human books I’ve read this year.

Audience: Adult

Read if you liked…

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Ragtime by E.L. Doctrow


4 thoughts on “The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

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