Unique and Thoughtful: The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
I wasn’t sure what was I expecting with this one, but it sure wasn’t this. I mean, I knew what a golem and a jinni were going into it and I expected a grown up story, but this was just a very different story, but I’m pretty sure I enjoyed it. The Golem and the Jinni was a very unique story, a bit slow at times (especially when you’ve been used to reading YA for a while) but a worthwhile read. There were meaningful passages and the way it was written was quite magical. The conversations between the Golem and the Jinni were my favorite parts of all though.
“What do you think?” he pressed. “Do you believe in their God?”
“I don’t know,” she said. “The Rabbi did. And he was the wisest person I’ve ever met. So yes, maybe I do.”
“A man tells you to believe and you believe?”
“It depends on the man. Besides, you believe the stories that you were told. Have you met a jinni who could gran wishes?”
“No, but that ability has all but disappeared.”
“So, it’s just stories now. And perhaps the humans did create their God. But does that make him less real? Take this arch. They created it. Now it exists.”
“Yes, but it doesn’t grant wishes,” he said. “It doesn’t do anything.”
“True,” she said, “but I look at it, and I feel a certain way. Maybe that’s its purpose.”
He wanted to ask, what good was a God that only existed to make you feel a certain way? But he left off.
The story takes place in 1899 New York City which was lovely and flips between quite a few different characters point of views. They were never hard to keep straight, but at first you wonder why in the world you’re reading about all of these seemingly random people. I was so impressed by this element in the story; nothing was really placed in it without a purpose even though I was skeptical throughout while reading, Wecker proved me wrong.
One of the beset parts of the book though was that it really makes the reader think. In almost every character, there seemed to be some part of them which was relatable (to me at least). And the ideas of beliefs, aspirations, and freedom were remarkable. So if you’re in the mood for a read that is more of a thinker that you have the time to enjoy and mull over, rather than a quick read, this is a good choice!