The Golem and The Jinni & The Hidden Palace by Helene Wecker #BookReview

There are few times where I can genuinely say I’ve been anticipating a book as much as I have the sequel to The Golem & The Jinni by Helene Wecker.

Cover for "The Golem & The Jinni" by Helene Wecker
Cover for “The Golem & The Jinni” by Helene Wecker

If you remember my 30th birthday post from Instagram, The Golem and The Jinni was a book I mentioned in “The Lost Years” slide.

When my dad was ill, I listened to The Golem and the Ginni as an audiobook. This was the first time I’d ever used an audiobook to read. And it offered me a lot of comfort since it reminded me of being a child and having my parents read me books to fall asleep. Likewise, being able to hear George Guidall narrate Chava and Ahmad’s story added another layer to Wecker’s novel for me.

Wecker’s writing covers the story of these two magical beings’ lives through the lens of immigration and technological advances. Paying particular attention to the importance of community, the author asks the reader to imagine what it must have been like for people to leave all they’d ever known to strike out into the unknown in a foreign land.

While Chava and Ahmad are two magical beings, you can see the difference in how men and women assimilated to their surroundings in each character’s story. This is something that Wecker and I talk more about in the interview I posted with her last week.

"I define community in its broadest sense as a group of people whose interactions are framed around a shared element. You can have communities based on physical proximity, on one’s geographic or cultural origins, on shared life experiences, on something as inconsequential-seeming as a hobby. I think that we all belong to any number of these communities, all of which intersect and layer on top of each other. Our ties to them may wax and wane as our lives change. The problems come in when a person belongs to two or more communities that are antithetical to each other in some way." - Helene Wecker, Author of "The Golem & the Jinni" and "The Hidden Palace
Excerpt from my Helene Wecker Interview

For Chava, a golem created as the bride to a rich Jewish man striking out for a new country, coming to America forces her to venture out of her comfort zone to be independent and tackle her natural ability to provide for others. The jinni, Ahmad, is the total opposite. Having lived for several hundred years in the Syrian desert, he’s awoken in a strange land with no recollection of how he came to be in America and wants nothing to do with humans.

When these two have a chance meeting in the middle of the night in 1900, a series of events are set in motion that the reader could never imagine.

If you’re a lover of books that have a full cast of characters and that is multi-layered, this is a story you’ll love. I highly suggest the audiobook for those who enjoy hearing the voices of characters.

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Cover for "The Hidden Palace" by Helene Wecker
Cover for “The Hidden Palace” by Helene Wecker

Wecker has just come out with the next book in the series, The Hidden Palace, and I highly recommend Wecker has just come out with the next book in the series, The Hidden Palace, and I highly recommend it. George Guidall is back as the audiobook narrator, and there are more characters and more adventures in this story. I’m excited that Sophie, Ahmad’s human lover, was given a much bigger part to play in the newest book, and Wecker has included two new magical characters.

In this epic sequel, we get to see characters bounce between New York City and the Middle East in the years leading to World War I. If you’re a student of history, you will love getting to see how Chava and Ahmad react to historical events, like the sinking of the Titanic.

Grab your copy of The Hidden Palace today!