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Synopsis

In The Golem and the Jinni, a chance meeting between mythical beings takes readers on a dazzling journey through cultures in turn-of-the-century New York.

Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life to by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic and dies at sea on the voyage from Poland. Chava is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York harbor in 1899.

Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire born in the ancient Syrian desert, trapped in an old copper flask, and released in New York City, though still not entirely free

Ahmad and Chava become unlikely friends and soul mates with a mystical connection. Marvelous and compulsively readable, Helene Wecker's debut novel The Golem and the Jinni weaves strands of Yiddish and Middle Eastern literature, historical fiction and magical fable, into a wondrously inventive and unforgettable tale.

Ratings and Reviews

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4.2 out of 5
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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Well written and easy to read, Helene Wecker weaves a fantastic but believable tale. I was enchanted by the first chapter and looked forward to the adventures of Chava and Ahmad . This book did not disappoint!

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    This was a wonderful book in so many ways. It is historical fiction, which is my personal favourite genre, but as any reader of historical fiction knows it can be difficult to get right. This book beautifully mixed in studies of diverse religion and culture and brought it all together in a time a place of great change. New York, as a hub of immigration, was filled with people from all over the world trying to make their living in the promised land of America. What they found was almost never what they had imagined. Many groups banded together with others from their homeland in poorer areas of the city and supported one another as a community trying to get by. Into this strange and tense melting pot arrive two mythological creatures, the Golem and the Jinni. One hailing from ancient Hebrew myth, the other from the deserts of the Middle East, they try to navigate a world in which they do not belong for many reasons; their culture, their nature, and the fact they are not supposed to be real at all, in any world! Improbably they find each other and inspire one another to carve out a life for themselves in their new world. Overall this book was beautifully written and was refreshing in its originality. I learned some new things that were very interesting about Hebrew and Middle Eastern mythology. I loved this book and will read it again.

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    Great Book! It caught my full attention from the beginning. Chava and Jinni belong together. Even this a fictional creatures, they have a sense of human beings. This book puts you right on the streets of New Jork

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    It was a well written book that kept me reading until the end.

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    I really loved this book!! A hauntingly beautiful story of love and loss, innocence and friendship, and the dark sinister things that go bump in the night that threaten them all! I didn't put it down till it was done!! Wonderful!

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