The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
Two supernatural immigrants arrive to New York City in 1899 and become unlikely friends. Chava is a golem or a creature made from clay. She was created to be tied to a master but shortly after waking her up, her master dies on the ship bringing them to New York City. As Chava wanders around NYC a rabbi sees her for what she is and takes her under his wing. Ahmed is a jinni or a creature made from fire. A thousand years old, he was trapped in a bottle after being captured by a wizard. He can't remember what happened but a metal worker takes him as his apprentice.
While the jinni tries to remember his past and the golem tries to determine her future, the two meet and though suspicious of each other become friends. Since they don't require sleep, they wander the city at night to explore and talk. Chava does not know that her creator is looking for her, hoping to tie her to him as her master.
This is a rather enchanting story about how two individuals that seem so different can forge a great friendship. Though I didn't find it a very quick read, this was because of the level of detail brought to the story. There are many characters, which at the beginning is a bit confusing because I was unsure how all the pieces would fit together. Wecker does a fantastic job however of describing what these characters are thinking and doing which makes the story come to life.
The novel takes place in 1899 but I'm not entirely sure why. I personally didn't feel that the time the story takes place in had any bearing on the story. Immigrants may not come by boat as frequently as they did then, but people would still reach out to help those that are slightly different from themselves. Really, this book could take place in any time.
This book is quite different from anything I have read recently and I would recommend it!
Thank you to TLC Book Tours for letting me be a part of this tour!
First Line: "The Golem's life began in the hold of a steamship."