The Golem And The Jinni by Helene Wecker (5 out of 5)



My coworker Felicia spotted this one before I did. It came in a month back, and it got lost in the never ending pile of books that seems to stalk me on a daily basis (for the record, no complaints here). The cover was an instantaneous love affair. Gorgeous. I picked it up Saturday while at work to stop the mad tittering of a florescent parakeet and immediately got into reading the first 40 pages. Which means–I’m reading it! So I checked it out Sunday and here we are, done a few days later. I loved this book! 

A golem is a figure of Jewish mysticism, made of clay, brought to life to do the bidding of another being. A jinni is of Arab mysticism (not sure if mysticism is the correct word, but work with me here) and a creature of fire. A golem and a jinni in Old World New York in the 1899. Chava is the golem, Ahmad the jinni. Chava is brought to us by a dark and mysterious man who dabbles in Kabbalah. Ahmad is accidentally freed from his flask in a shop. They meet up in the strangest of circumstance, and have to cover up their true selves while trying to make their ways in and around New York, without discovery of what (whom) they are. They form a quick attachment, despite their opposing natures. Something truly horrifying happens, and they’re sent back to their respective worlds. However, as in all great partnerships, there never lies a dormant peace, and a force both threatening and evil brings them back together and united in their quest to overcome this and save many from imminent doom. Can they do it? Will they continue in their original forms, or be forced to endure a charade outside of what they normally have to contend with?

Sounds a bit much, eh? Not my normal cup of tea, as far as books go. I’ve never been one real big on mysticism or mythology, but this book may have changed all of that. It immediately makes me want to go back and reread all works of ancient mythology and any assorted literature that goes along with that. Helene Wecker truly sets the scene of New York 1899, and never truly lets you go. Her descriptions of that time and area rival that of Edmund Rutherford, one of my all-time favorite authors with painting a landscape of times and places and a spellbinding plot along with it. Her book isn’t as lengthy as a Rutherford, but it’s equally mesmerizing. I could not put this book down, and it’s a 500 page plus. To say it kept me up the last two nights doesn’t do it justice. It is incredibly readable and you are immediately welcomed into the world of Ahmad and Chava. I can’t say enough how much I loved it, and I can’t wait to recommend the crap out of it and hand-sell it to the masses. 

~ by generationgbooks on February 19, 2014.

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