Book review: The Golem and The Djinni by Helene Wecker

What is it that makes us human? Is it blood, bones and skin? What then of a woman made of clay, or a man made of fire?

Is it our thoughts, our actions, our hopes, dreams and sorrows that make us human?

What then of the wizard who only wanted fame, power and life eternal? What of the Djinni who only hoped he hadn't harmed anyone while he was enslaved? Or of the masterless golem, who had to fight against her nature to make sure she didn't scare the people around her?

Or is it our actions that make us human?

The wizard, who came back life after life, searching desperately, fearfully, for the secret to immortality.

The Djinni, who worked marvels in metal, explored the city, had a romantic dalliance, thought he was better than the humans and their small miserable lives, and came to befriend Chava.

The golem, who learnt how to control her actions, ignore the thoughts, wishes and desires of all the people around her, worked diligently at the Radzin's bakery, and was forever changed by Ahmed.

This is the story of their unlikely friendship. That blossomed into love. That changed them subtly, even when they shouldn't have been changed. For they were not human. They were Chava and Ahmed. The Golem and the Djinni.

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