Monday, April 25, 2016

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

The Golem and the Jinni (The Golem and the Jinni, #1)The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Interesting. Good characters from the perspective of being interesting and varied, though there were a lot of people to keep track of. This made it a little challenging to get deeply invested in any of them. To the extent that I did get invested in some, I was disappointed by the outcomes for them- as though I got attached to all the characters I wasn't supposed to get attached to and none of the ones I was supposed to. I also couldn't get into any of the love stories- though possibly this is because there were none. This is turning out to be the kind of review that makes no sense unless you read the book because I'm trying not to spoil anything.

Some of my favorite things about the book included trying to imagine New York in the late 1800s and particularly the ethnic neighborhoods. I also enjoyed the book's underlying exploration of free will and the curious ways the characters could or could not exercise their free will. To a lesser degree, I also enjoyed how different characters resolved the question of whether or not God or the-God-of-their-faith exists, though especially for Yehudah Schaalman, these rationalizations fell short of what a real person might grapple with and consider. Wow, run-on sentence. Sorry, I'm keeping it.

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