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THE GOLEM and THE JINNI


(Photo via Google images).

The Golem and The Jinni by Helene Wecker, is a stunning blend of Arabic mythology and Jewish folklore. The tale of a golem and a jinni learning to adapt in a world not their own is breathtaking and oh so relatable.

Created to satisfy a man's empty life as he leaves behind his home, only for him die at sea, Golem must now adjust to life untethered to a master. She is helped by a kindly rabbi, and both come to depend on each other.

Trapped in a flask for centuries, Jinni is unknowingly released from his prison by a tinsmith. Having no recollection of his capture and subsequent imprisonment, and his powers bound, he too has to learn the ways of this land in a strange time(with a little help from the tinsmith).

They are both cautioned by their rescuers to the fate that could befall them if their true natures were to be discovered, and so must appear for all intents as a regular man and woman. Names are given to carry out this charade, and their reactions are very telling of their inherent natures. Golem was built to be obedient and pleasing to her master(and so is very happy to receive a name that lends a sense of identity), while Jinni has known freedom and independence all his life(is resentful of the name that he must now assume).

The appearance of Yehudah Schaalman (the man who created the golem), puts the lives that both Golem and Jinni have cultivated at risk, as his motives and his connection to both is revealed.

A truly breathtaking novel that feels both relevant and timeless, and shows how much we have in common even when we are different. Immerse yourselves in this incredible tale that will take through the streets of New York in the latter 19th century and the enigmatic sands of the Arabian desert.

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