Synopsis according to Goodreads:
The Golem and the Jinni is Helene Wecker's first published novel, and I hope not her last. It's a spectacular example of a compelling story, with surprising depth, that's reminiscent of classic literature.
"Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master, the husband who commissioned her, dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York in 1899.
Ahmad is a djinni, 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. Though he is no longer imprisoned, Ahmad is not entirely free – an unbreakable band of iron binds him to the physical world.
The Golem & The Djinni is their magical, unforgettable story; 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 threat will soon bring Chava and Ahmad together again, challenging their existence and forcing them to make a fateful choice."
This book actually combines the stories of several people, all of which touch on, influence, and intertwine with each other. Every point of view, even that of the antagonist, is valid, understandable, and interesting. I LOVE when an author manages to pull that off!
The primary story is driven by Chava and Ahmad, who have opposite experiences with free will and independence, and who, through a series of misadventures, learn and grow and find middle ground...like the journey all us humans make throughout adulthood.
I highly recommend this for fans of literature, contemporary fantasy, historical fiction, the journey of mankind, and novels that are entertaining *and* thought-provoking.
Labels: audiobook, book review, female protagonist, helene wecker, historical fiction, journey, lit love, literary friday, magical realism