The Golem and the Jinni centers around Ahmad and Chava. Ahmad is a jinni, a being made of fire, who hails from the Syrian Desert. He has been trapped in a flask for almost a thousand years, and is accidentally released by a tinsmith in the neighborhood of Little Syria in 20th century New York. Unfortunately, Ahmad finds himself confined to a human body. By day, he works for the tinsmith who released him to project a sense of normalcy. By night, he wanders the city to shake off the feeling of restlessness that comes all too naturally to Jinnis.
Chava is a golem, a creature of clay made to look like a human. She was created by a rabbi who fell out of grace, at the request of a lonely man who wanted a wife to bring with him to New York. When the man dies on the voyage, Chava feels lost, as golems are intended to have masters. But in New York, she is taken in by a retired rabbi, who helps her navigate the human world. This is difficult for Chava, as she can sense the desires and fears of almost everyone she meets.
Through unforeseen circumstances, Ahmad and Chava cross paths in New York. When Chava’s creator travels to New York searching for the secret to eternal life, she and Ahmad come across a discovery that could change their lives forever.
Although the novel centers around Ahmad and Chava, we get to know several other characters with captivating backgrounds. As the story progresses, it is interesting to see how all their lives become intertwined. Readers are also introduced to Middle Eastern and Yiddish folklore. The book’s sequel, The Iron Season, is set to be published later this year.