Cultures collide when two mythical creatures from different traditions meet in turn of the century New York City. Chava, a golem whose master dies aboard ship to America, arrives at Ellis Island uncertain of her purpose and path. A sympathetic rabbi recognizes her for what she is and helps her adapt and fit in to the Jewish community. Chava longs to be useful and obediently follows the rabbi’s advice, careful always not to draw too much attention to herself, lest she be recognized and destroyed. She constantly wrestles to keep her true nature in check, afraid she will endanger the people she cares about.
The jinni, on the other hand, is the complete opposite. Ahmad, who has been trapped in a bottle for thousands of years, cares only for himself and satisfying his own desires. He craves his own freedom and pleasure, just as Chava desires only to please others. Those are their natures. When the two cross paths, they are equally critical of each other and their choices. Yet, the two forge a tentative friendship that cuts across the social and religious boundaries constraining their human counterparts. As it turns out, Chava and Ahmad have more in common than they realize. They are linked by a powerful enemy who threatens to destroy everything they are and all that they have become. Can Chava and Ahmad overcome their natures to save themselves and each other?
Although slow-moving at times, this historical fantasy is richly detailed with well-developed and interesting characters. Book clubs looking for something a little bit different will find plenty to discuss and explore here. The recurring themes of free-will and identity should spark a lot of interesting discussion.
The Golem and the Jinni is available to check out in print, or to download as an audiobook to your computer or smartphone. Look for e-book availability coming soon!