28 May 2013

Today's Read: The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

What if turn-of-the-last-century New York was not what you think it was? Sure you'd find eastern European immigrants fresh off the boat, but you'd also find other-worldly creatures, the beings of folk tales. What would happen if, in the midst of the city, a Golem formed by a Polish Jew met a Jinni imprisoned in human form by a Syrian wizard? Would they have the same conflicts as their human counterparts?

The Golem's life began in the hold of a steamship. The year was 1899; the ship was the Baltika, crossing from Danzig to New York. The Golem's master, a man named Otto Rotfeld, had smuggled her aboard in a crate and hidden her among the luggage.
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker (HarperCollins / Harper, 2013, p.1)

Quick Facts
  • Setting: New York City, 1899
  • Circumstances: The Golem and the Jinni had no control over their arrival in the city; they must learn to live alone in a human world, until they meet and recognize each other for what they are
  • Characters: Chava, the Golem, made of clay and protected by a rabbi; Ahmad, the Jinni, made of fire and beholden to a tinsmith; human immigrants; poor and rich New Yorkers; forces of evil
  • Genre: alternate history colored by folklore and religious mysticism
  • Themes: clashing cultures, immigration, loneliness, love, survival, friendship
Buy The Golem and the Jinni at an indie or other bookstore near you.
ISBN-13: 9780062110831

Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy).


Sandy Nawrot 5/28/13, 6:40 AM  

I wouldn't have given this book a second look, but Jill's review was so compelling. I may need to hunt this one down.

Zibilee 5/28/13, 9:56 AM  

I bought this one in print and in audio a few weeks ago, and I am really eager to read it. Its main star is a golem, and I am truly intrigued by them. I need to make some listening time for this one.

Daryl 5/28/13, 11:52 AM  

catching up slowly ...

bermudaonion 5/28/13, 3:47 PM  

This book's getting a lot of great buzz but I'm not sure it's for me.

Leslie (Under My Apple Tree) 5/29/13, 10:50 AM  

I think I'd like this one. Now I just need to make some time to read it!

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