The Golem and the Jinni was one of the best books I’ve read so far this year. It was such a great story that I was so caught up in it. I would’ve stayed up past my bedtime (all too easy as I sleep before 1030) but with two kids demanding all my energy I need my sleep. Still I managed to read and read this, while pushing the 1yo on his tricycle, while the kids napped in the afternoon, in between doing chores, and during my reading time after the kids went to sleep. I didn’t want this story to end.
It was a truly absorbing, enchanting story, set in New York in 1899. A jinni accidentally released by a tinsmith after centuries in a flask. A golem created a a wife for a man who dies at sea on their way from Poland. Their new lives, separately, are fascinating themselves. One a new being, learning to live on her own, being able to read the desires of the humans around her. The other, centuries old, having to readjust to life in this new world, unable to remember his previous life and how he was imprisoned in the flask.
Then these two mythical beings meet and an unlikely friendship begins. And what a ride it is, partly because there is an element of suspense with a villain tracking them down.
It is part historical fiction, part folklore, part fantasy. But all over a moving, exciting, lyrical and simply awesome magic carpet ride of a read.
This was the fifth book I read for Once Upon a Time VIII
The Outsiders – SE Hinton
Wow. She wrote this book as a teenager? How truly impressive. Maybe it’s because I didn’t grow up in the US, but yes it did take me this long to read The Outsiders! And of course now that I’ve read it, I’ve noticed it being referenced in a variety of places. Like in Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, where Cath reads it to Levi. And in Veronica Mars! when Wallace says that he feels like he’s in scene from The Outsiders and Veronica tells him “be cool Sodapop”.
Ballet Shoes for Anna – Noel Streatfeild
As with many of Streatfeild’s books (at least those I’ve read), the children are the victims of unfortunate circumstances. In the case of Anna, Francesco and Gussie, an earthquake takes away their family, destroys their village. And they find themselves in England under the care of their uncle, a mean-spirited man who wants nothing to do with them and hates that he has to spend his money on them. His wife though is sweet and concerned but always puts the husband first. So the boys, with the help of a new friend, try to figure out how to get their Anna the proper ballet training she deserves, as well as the best ballet shoes (their uncle obviously considers dancing a frivolous activity). It’s a story about determination and courage, with Francesco as a great big brother character. Too bad Anna seems rather silly!