Title / The Golem and the Djinni
Author / Helene Wecker
Published / 2013
Page no. / 646
Overall Rating / ★★★
The Golem and the Djinni is a historical fiction set in New York in 1899 and follows a golem called Chava and a djinni called Ahmad. In Jewish folklore, a golem is a creature made of clay (or sometimes mud) that is imbued with life. A golem is typically not sentient and will follow orders given by it’s master. In Muslim folklore, a djinn (or jinn) is a supernatural being that can shapeshift. One of the main highlights of this book was the way that Wecker has woven these two cultures folklore into this story and world.
The first chapter opens the story very well and I found myself invested in the story from early on, however the pacing become a bit uneven throughout the book. Chava and Ahmad are fantastic protagonists and Wecker does a great job at developing their relationship. The dynamics between a newly created golem and an ancient djinn was interesting to see evolve. The writing and plot are quite dense, which meant that it did drag in places and I did feel that overall the book was a little overlong. There were a couple of sections that I did find myself skim reading for a short while. This is very much a character based book, so the focus is always on the characters and their development. Therefore the plot is often slow-moving until the last third or so of the book, so if you are not a fan of character based stories then this is probably one to avoid. The world is a vivid one and it really draws you into the story.
Overall I thought this was a great historical fiction book with fantastical elements, if a little too long for me personally. I didn’t love is as much as I thought I would, but it is still a really good book and I would definitely recommend checking it out, especially if you are looking for a new historical fiction book to read. Have you guys read this book? I’d love to know what you thought of it. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.