The Golem’s life began in the hold of a steamship.
With some books you don’t want to stop reading and definitely don’t want to reach the end either. This is one of those. With every page you get a brighter image of not just nineteenth century New York city, but of everyone’s pains and motivations, yet always teasing enough to make sure that you continue turning the page.
The story is, indeed, about a golem and a djinni. One is brought to live on a boat trip from the old world (Europe) to the new world. The other is unsure about his past, but has to adjust to a human life in the big immigrant city as well. One of them ends up in Little Syria, the other in the Jewish community.
Both are aliens, to humankind and to the country. Helene Wecker shows city history while braiding mythology and coming of age through it. Her descriptions of the city and its people are beautiful and brutal at the same time, painting a colorful but painful picture.
A simple story, but surrounded by so much beauty and humanity that you can’t put it away.
The Golem and the Djinni, Helene Wecker, Blue Door 2013