The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker – Book Review

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
Published by Harper Books, an imprint of HarperCollins

A golem and a jinni walk into New York City at the turn of the century. Okay, well, the Jinni doesn’t actually walk, he arrives in a copper flask that has held oil for longer than anyone can remember. The Golem, though, she walks. She walks right off the ship that carried her from Europe and right along the bottom of the harbor. Oh, and also this isn’t a joke, but Helene Wecker’s lovely and magical story about late 19th century immigration, identity, and just a little magic.


Really, I found everything about The Golem and the Jinni just fabulous. Both the Golem and the Jinni were astoundingly realistic, especially considering they are mythical creatures. What is particularly well done with their characterization is the fact that their concerns are at the same time unique to a golem (or a jinni), but also contain threads that would make their problems easy to relate to for we non-magical beings. Wecker’s turn-of-the-century Jewish and Syrian immigrant communities are also vividly drawn and compelling, making The Golem and the Jinni a real treat for lovers of historical fiction.

The Golem and the Jinni is one of the very rare books that I wish was longer, so that I might continue to dwell within its pages. Very highly recommended.

Source: Publisher.
Learn more aboutĀ The Golem and the JinniĀ on the publisher’s website


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7 comments to The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker – Book Review

  • I’m about halfway through this right now and really enjoying it. Absolutely beautiful writing! 100% agree with this review.

  • I hadn’t heard of this one before. I’m still in withdrawal from Jonathan Stroud’s YA books about the djinni Bartomeus on audio, so I’m definitely going to read this.

  • I am reading this one now (I have unexplainable attraction to the djinn) and enjoying. I was a bit hesitant about the writing first, but now I’ve really warmed up to Wecker’s style :)

  • Agree, agree, agree. I enjoyed this book SO MUCH.

  • Karen Marino

    One of my favorites and one I’ll be visiting often. I recommend this book to anyone who will listen.

  • I am just so not into magical type books, but it kills me when everyone raves about a book like this one. That, and I love the cover, and I want to know what a Golem and Jinni are!!
    Wonderful review.

    • At its heart The Golem and the Jinni is really a story of immigration, historical fiction at its finest. You might like it despite the magic, it isn’t really fantasy, other than the fact there are two fantastical creatures.