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The Golem and the Jinni (The Golem and the Jinni, #1)
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June 2018: Magical Realism > The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker - a rare 5 stars

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message 1: by Amy N. (last edited Jun 24, 2018 02:46PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy N. | 256 comments In my review last month, I said The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake was the kind of novel I want to write, but that isn't quite true. It's the kind of novel I wish I could write. The Golem and the Jinni is the kind of novel I hope I can write someday: the kind that feels within my capabilities-- but only after years (maybe decades) of hard work and dedication. I still can't quite believe this is Helene Wecker's first novel.

I don't think I've ever read a book before this one that literally made my eyes bug out in surprise at the big reveal. There are so many different story threads weaving through this almost 500 page novel that it seems they can't all possibly come together, but they do, in a natural and satisfying, but totally unexpected, way. Every coincidence (and there are a few) seems natural and inevitable, in a way even real coincidences sometimes don't. I felt for every one of the characters, all their stories so different and yet each one real and believable. This is the kind of book where you can imagine the characters going on with their lives after the book is over.

As historical fiction (the magic is all taking place in a very real turn of the century New York) it is interesting and enjoyable. I saw someone on this group once remark that they felt so much of historical fiction is unremittingly grim, and I agree, but there was none of that here. Life back then was hard, but not much harder than it is today, just in a different way, and there was just as much opportunity for joy and kindness, even in little moments. It was fascinating to get a glimpse into the immigrant experience from this very unique place and time. Wecker made early 1900s New York come alive for me, and I felt like I was seeing the sights and experiencing the different neighborhoods along with the restless Jinni, watching and feeling the city change with the seasons along with the calm, steady Golem. It was a pleasure to read from start to finish, and I would recommend it to anyone.

annapi | 5153 comments Another favorite of mine!

message 3: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy | 9334 comments Just love this book! And I love that more than one person is reading it for magical realism. Here I am wondering what I actually think about this teen young adult little thing I’m reading. But when I think about it against a book like this, I find myself jealous. Even of reading a book I loved five years ago. Truly spectacular books stay with you.

Tracy (tstan) | 1237 comments Such a great book!

Susie | 4488 comments I’m so glad you loved it!

Joanne (joabroda1) | 8412 comments Thanks for the review-I started this book but had to put it down to knock out some books for another Challenge Group. I was hooked after the first chapter. I am sure I won't get it finished for June, but as soon as I am done with it I will post my review in other books. I am wondering(I did look at FQA and the rules-maybe I missed it)-do you still get points if you post a TAG in a different month? Really is no big deal, just wondering.

message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

I can't read your review, I can't read your review!! I'm over half way done with this book and am so in love with it. I'll come back to your review when I'm finished. But I love that you gave it a 5 star.

Ladyslott | 1880 comments One of my favorite books.

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6382 comments I really wanted to love this book ... and wound up just liking it .. 3***

Hahtoolah | 439 comments This is one of my all-time favorite novels.

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