Book: The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
Publication date: 2013
Summary: A Golem and a Jinni arrive, separately, in New York City, alone and friendless. Each finds a sponsor of the appropriate culture. The Golem, a placid female-formed creature who aims to please, is taken in by a retired Rabbi. The Jinni poses as an apprentice to a tinsmith in Little Syria.
Hiding their supernatural characteristics, both the Golem and the Jinni struggle to find a place within the immigrant communities of New York at the turn of the twentieth century.
Thoughts: What fun to read a supernatural story that doesn’t feature vampires and werewolves! I read a few Jewish folktales in college and the Golem fits right in with that tradition. The Jinni feels like a creature woven into a tale by Scheherazade.
As much as I enjoyed this glimpse of story-telling in slightly familiar traditions, I was equally intrigued by the realistic portrayal of immigrant life in Gilded Age New York.
Challenges: The Golem and the Jinni is my first chunkster of 2015. I’m hoping to read at least four this year.
Have you read this book? What did you think?