Pre-order ‘The Hidden Palace’ — Book 2 of Helene Wecker’s ‘The Golem and the Jinni’
[The book] takes place in late-19th-century New York. The story revolves around a female golem (Chava) who is marooned in the city after her Polish-immigrant master dies at sea, and a jinni (Ahmad) who is accidentally released from an ancient copper kettle by a Syrian tinsmith, only to find himself mysteriously trapped in human form. Each of them struggles to adapt to American society, the same way any immigrant would.
Although I don’t know how the book ends, I’ve found [its] unique mixture of Jewish and Arab mythologies with American history quite compelling so far. I’m also surprised this is Helene Wecker’s first novel, given how excellent the writing is. She definitely has a gift, and I can’t wait to see what she writes next.
“Can’t wait to see what she writes next.” I guess I did have to wait, didn’t I? 😅
That’s okay though, because the book’s long-awaited sequel, The Hidden Palace, is slated to release in a couple months (🎉 yay!), and will continue following the adventures of our beloved protagonists Chava and Ahmad (minor spoilers for the first book below):
Both Chava and Ahmad have changed the lives of the people around them. Park Avenue heiress Sophia Winston, whose brief encounter with Ahmad left her with a strange illness that makes her shiver with cold, travels to the Middle East to seek a cure. There she meets Dima, a tempestuous female jinni who’s been banished from her tribe. Back in New York, in a tenement on the Lower East Side, a little girl named Kreindel helps her rabbi father build a golem they name Yossele—not knowing that she’s about to be sent to an orphanage uptown, where the hulking Yossele will become her only friend and protector.
Spanning the tumultuous years from the turn of the twentieth century to the beginning of World War I, The Hidden Palace follows these lives and others as they collide and interleave. Can Chava and Ahmad find their places in the human world while remaining true to each other? Or will their opposing natures and desires eventually tear them apart—especially once they encounter, thrillingly, other beings like themselves?
The Hidden Palace releases on June 8th, 2021. I for one plan to start reading it the day of, and hopefully you’ll join me!
Pre-order the book in these formats: