The Golem and the Djinni by Helene Wecker
The antagonist is being reborn against and again, as the Djinni he’s linked his souls with is still alive in the flask. That’s an interesting idea. What I didn’t like, however, was that all his lives went the same way. From the start, it seems, he had no chance but to repeat his life again and again, looking for immortality out of fear for judgement in the afterlife. What we learn about Chava’s creator is that he was quite the brilliant and promising young man…until he had the dream and knew that he was forsaken, his fate already determined. The lack of a chance and a choice makes me pity the man, even if he’s an evil and rather unlikable man. His time helping the charity only shows how much good he could have done, had he had the chance.
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.
Length: 657 Pages
Release: April 23, 2013