Audie Award Finalist, Fiction, 2014
Helene Wecker's dazzling debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures who appear mysteriously in 1899 New York. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York Harbor. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian Desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop.
Struggling to make their way in this strange new place, the Golem and the Jinni try to fit in with their neighbors while masking their true natures. Surrounding them is a community of immigrants: the coffeehouse owner Maryam Faddoul, a pillar of wisdom and support for her Syrian neighbors; the solitary ice cream maker Saleh, a damaged man cursed by tragedy; the kind and caring Rabbi Meyer and his beleaguered nephew, Michael, whose Sheltering House receives newly arrived Jewish men; the adventurous young socialite Sophia Winston; and the enigmatic Joseph Schall, a dangerous man driven by ferocious ambition and esoteric wisdom.
Meeting by chance, the two creatures become unlikely friends whose tenuous attachment challenges their opposing natures, until the night a terrifying incident drives them back into their separate worlds. But a powerful menace will soon bring the Golem and the Jinni together again, threatening their existence and forcing them to make a fateful choice.
Marvelous and compulsively listenable, The Golem and the Jinni weaves strands of folk mythology, historical fiction, and magical fable into a wondrously inventive and unforgettable tale.
©2013 Helene Wecker (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers
This book shows what it is like to become human from both a cautious and rebellious standpoint with a brilliant tale and in depth cast. A must read.
Golem (Hanna) the best hero of her age.
Splendid narration. A quiet delivery with nuiance voice. Very engrossing.
All is not as it seems.
Total enjoyment with the book. From start to finish. Author has excellent use of word and phrase and the intent is captured by the superb narrator. Really a great experience.
Guidall's reading performance is as greag as ever. Helene Wecker has crafted a truly unique tale of fantasy, magic and a bit of romance in the multi ethnic ghettos of early twentieth century New York.
I love fantasy literature, and so rarely does a fantasy book delve into deep issues, but this book did (and did so successfully). Never before have two non-human characters so accurately analyzed what it means to be human. This book is truly in a class of it's own. Set against a historical backdrop, these two characters form a unique connection. I'm hesitant to say more, so I'll just say that this book is fantastic. Thought-provoking, philosophical, and so much more. It's the kind of book that stays with you days after you're done reading it. A must-read!
I liked the characters, and it was a look into rash decisions and there consequences, while trying to explore life.
One of the best books I've read, and probably the best audiobook performance I've listened to. A perfect blend of character-ficused realism and subtle plot-driven soeculative fiction.
A thoroughly enjoyable story, this audio delight had me listening to the detriment of my own productivity. The author's cultural knowledge interwove the characters' lives so beautiful, and of course a genius finish. The performer's voices had me feeling as though I'd befriended the characters themselves. Though it left a little to be desired with regard to certain thematic developments, I admit my own bias may color this particular aspect. All in all, such a delightful story to get lost in- a million years could pass by and I'd hardly be aware.
Absolutely loved this book! I expected fantasy with fantastical things, but this is more about people. Learning who one is and how they fit into the world.
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