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The Golem and The Jinni – Helene Wrecker

Contemporary, fiction, historical, Yiddish folklore, middle eastern folklore, golems, jinni.

The Golem woman was made on a ship heading to America to be her master’s partner. Unfortunately he didn’t make it through alive but she is born and alive. She decides to continue the journey and go to America. She tries to adjust with the help of a widowed Rabbi who took her in. Jinni was released from his bottle and is unfamiliar with the new time that he is in. The person who unleashed him gets him work. Both the Golem and Jinni are working so hard to fit into this new society they are involved in. At one point their paths are crossed, both baffled by each other’s existence. The Golem introduces herself as Chava and he introduces himself as Ahmad. Both spend time together and their friendship blossoms. 

I found that this was an exceptionally beautiful book and the way it was written was so well. Both the Yiddish and Middle Eastern lore are together and woven in such a way that this felt so natural. Two different worlds colliding in an interesting way. The time that this novel takes place was perfect for the plot. Coming to America is truly a life changing event and Wrecker just captures that aspect perfectly with this. I had tried to read this in the past but never got to fully appreciate it until I read it this time fully. This had diversity in a way that was respecting the cultures involved and the peoples as well. I simply loved Chava and her perspective. I found that I was liking her a bit more than Ahmad. I did like him too because his character was intriguing. She was simple and was very caring. I loved her big heart throughout the book. Honestly this book was the best book I have read so far that really made me feel a lot of emotions. I definitely would recommend this to be on one’s bookshelf for sure.