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The Golem and the Jinni

Quick Recap & Summary By Chapter

The Full Book Recap and Chapter-by-Chapter Summary for The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker are below.

Quick(-ish) Recap

In 1988 in Poland, Otto Rotfeld asks Yehudah Schaalman, a man who deals in dangerous Kabbalistic arts, to build him a Golem to be his wife. Golems are brutish slaves meant for protection, but Schaalman agrees anyway. Then, Otto leaves for New York. He awakens her on the steamship, but then dies of appendicitis. The Golem is left with no master, but the ability to hear everyone's thoughts. In New York, she meets Rabbi Meyer, who recognizes that she is a Golem. He offers her shelter, gets her a job at a bakery and names her Chava.

Nearby, in New York's Little Syria neighborhood, a tinsmith, Boutros Arbeely, is working on fixing an old flask when a Jinni emerges from it. The Jinni has no memory of the last thousand years. Arbeely lets the Jinni stay and work with him, the Jinni chooses the name Ahmad. When the Jinni and the Golem cross paths, they recognize the other's true nature and agree to explore the city together.

Rabbi Meyer is kind, but worries about what to do about the Golem. Golems are by nature dangerous creatures. He decides that she needs a master, one who will destroy her if necessary. However, he has a heart attack before he can complete his plans. The Golem ends up getting married to the Rabbi's nephew, Michael Levy. Michael also has all of the Rabbi's papers, including the spell to bind her to a new master. However, his spell requires the Golem's consent.

In Poland, Schaalman has been searching for the key to eternal life. He discovers that the answer may be in New York, so he travels there. When he comes across the Jinni, suddenly the Jinni regains his memory, and the Jinni and Schaalman can see each others' memories. The Jinni recalls that he had been captured by a dark wizard, Wahab ibn Malik, who was then killed moments later. The Jinni's soul is bound to the wizard, so the wizard's soul lives on as long as the Jinni does. Malik's soul has been reincarnated many times, most recently in the form of Yehudah Schaalman.

Meanwhile, Mahmoud Saleh is a former doctor who was possessed by an ifrit (lesser demon) and now he gets convulsions and cannot see well. He is considered crazy, but harmless by the neighborhood. He recognizes the Jinni's fire-based nature, and they become acquainted. Schaalman comes across Saleh and frees him of his possession in order to get information from him.

Because of their shared memories, Schaalman also knows about the Golem now and wants mastery over her as well. He murders Michael to get the Rabbi's spell to bind the Golem. Then, Schaalman takes one of the Golem's friends, Anna, as a hostage, and he orders the Jinni to bring the Golem to him. He threatens to kill Anna unless the Golem accepts his mastery over her. She reluctantly accepts. Schaalman also orders her to put the Jinni back in the flask, telling her the incantation. However, after a scuffle, Saleh (who knew what was going on and was hiding) appears and uses the same incantation to imprison Schaalman into the flask.

In the Epilogue, the Jinni goes to the other jinn in the Syrian desert and asks them to watch the flask, warning them not to break the seal. The book ends with the Golem receiving a telegram from the Jinni telling her when he'll be back.

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Chapter-by-Chapter Summary

Chapter 1

In 1988, Otto Rotfeld is a Prussian Jew who is arrogant and unattractive, with a leering gaze. In need of a wife, he visits Yehudah Schaalman, who deals in the dangerous Kabbalistic arts, asking him to make him a female Golem, a person made of clay. Schaalman laughs, explaining that Golems are meant to be lumbering, beastly slaves, meant for protection and brute force. Rotfeld asks that she be curious and intelligent, too. Schaalman agrees, but warns him that she’ll still be a Golem, a forceful creature. The Golem is placed into a crate, and Rotfeld is given two commands: one to wake her, and one to destroy her.

Otto boards the Baltika, a steamship traveling from Danzig to New York. Shaalman warns not to wake her on the ship, in case she is discovered. But is suddenly occurs to Rotfeld that he might have been tricked, and Rotfeld wakes her anyway. The Golem wakes. Rotfeld tells her to stay here until they dock, but the Golem notices his pain and knows that he is sick. She brings him aboveboard where a doctor determines that Rotfeld has appendicitis. He’s brought into surgery, but dies.

With no master, the Golem is now able to hear everyone’s thoughts and she feels a twitch of desire to respond to each one as her mind reaches out for a substitute. She is given Otto’s belonging. She returns to the crate until the ship approaches Ellis island in New York. She sees another constructed woman, the Statue of Liberty, and feels hope. She also realizes that she can understand all languages.

With no ticket and to avoid processing, she dives into the water and walks to land.

Chapter 2

Not far from where the Golem emerges from the water, Boutros Arbeely is a tinsmith in Little Syria neighborhood of Lower Manhattan. One day, a woman, Maryam Faddoul, asks him to restore an old copper flask, an old family heirloom. As he starts his work, rubbing the flask, a jolt sends him backwards and a naked man appears, a Jinni. The Jinni snarls, demanding to know where “the wizard” is. Arbeely recognizes what he is and calmly explains to the Jinni where he is and gives him clothes.

The Jinni was originally born in the Syrian Desert in the 17th century. He is powerful and intelligent. Though he is stuck in a human form now, a jinn’s his true form is a wisp of air. They can be invisible or disguised, and they live lengthy lives. They fear iron and water.

The jinn and humans have long lived as neighbors, but with a deep distrust of each other. Storytellers say there were once wizards who would trap the jinn in lamps or flasks, but they’ve long faded into legend. One day, the Jinni listened to a caravan of humans, talking of the cities they’d built. Curious, the Jinni had decided to build himself a palace.

Now, in America, the last thing he remembers is going back to home to it. Despite his typically near-eidetic memory, he does not know how he was captured. He does recall the face of a man, a wizard. Then, in the next instant, he was suddenly laying there on the floor. Arbeely calculates that 1,000 years must have passed. With the enchanted cuffs on his wrists, he is unable to change form. Now, as Arbeely patches up a metal teakettle, he explains the process to the Jinni who then is able to fix it as if it had never been broken.

Chapter 3

On land, the Golem wanders on the streets, dirty and conspicuous. She is confused and overwhelmed, by the people and noise and shops and the concept of money. In a park, a bird pecks on her, and an old man (who turns out to be a Rabbi), noticing her stillness and blinking eyes, and suspects what she is. Afterwards, she feels the visceral hunger of a young boy near a food vendor. The Golem reacts to that feeling, grabbing a knish from the vendor to give to the boy. The vendor gets angry, but the Rabbi pays for it and they leave.

Rabbi Meyer sniffs her and recognizes that she’s a Golem. He notes that her creator must have been very talented. She tells him about her journey. As she talks, she feels his thoughts, she knows that he has the knowledge to destroy her and has considered it. However, he offers her protection and shelter and kindly says that together they will decide what to do with her. Despite not having much money, the Rabbi buys the Golem new clothes. But the widowed and childless Rabbi feels he must help her.

In Little Syra, the Jinni has been practicing how to work the tinplate. The plan is for him to pass as Arbeely’s apprentice. The Jinni is unimpressed with humble Arbeely’s quarters. He also doesn’t sleep or dream, but he is one of the few Jinnis with the power to enter dreams. But entering dreams can be dangerous, too, where a Jinni could get trapped in one. Now that he is stuck in human form, he doesn’t have access to that power nor most of powers as well.

Chapter 4

The Rabbi and the Golem get used to living with each other. She helps to keep the place neat which keeps her preoccupied and useful, which is her preferred manner of being. The Rabbi offers her a picture book when she expresses interest in reading. The Rabbi considers that his options are to protect and train her, to destroy her, or perhaps to find a way to bind her to a new master.

In Germany, Yehudah Schaalman wonders how things had gone with Otto and his Golem. Schaalman is 93 but is capable of making him appear somewhat younger. He studies how to ward off death, since he knows he will have to atone for his misdeeds in the afterlife.

As a boy, Schaalman grew up in the Grand Duchy of Posen (Poland, during Prussian control), which had been had been groomed to be Rabbi, and he been a very promising student. But Schaalman had a nightmare where he realized he was damned. He considered all his sins and decided that was what made him worthless. As a result, he left town at 19 and became a laborer, but turns to crime eventually. He copulates with a woman and then mistreats her. She, in turn, accuses him of rape. He’s sentenced to 15 years. In prison, he becomes hardened and clever.

When he is released at 35, the Poles are in the midst of rising up against the Prussians. One night he awakes to see something burning. The next day, he makes his way there, a burnt synagogue. It seems like it was destroyed a while ago, so he wonders if it was a dream that actually led him to this place. There, he finds a book containing the secrets of long-dead mystics. He knows that these enchantments are off limits except to the most pious and can only be used with pure intentions, lest you risk damnation. But Schaalman had long established that he was damned anyway and uses the spells.

Chapter 5

Arbeely finally introduces the Jinni as his new Bedouin apprentice. He tells Maryam Faddoul, a woman whose love for gossip ensures that the word will get around. The neighborhood welcomes him warmly, and the Jinni takes on the name of Ahmad.

The only man who is not curious about the newcomer is Mahmoud Saleh, a muslim man and the local ice cream maker. Mahmoud had been a high respected physician back when he was living in the city of Homs. One day, he was asked to help a Bedouin family with a sick, convulsing girl. A healer woman was there, too, who claimed it was an ifrit (a lesser demon). As the woman chants something, it seemed like something lept out from the girl into Mahmoud.

After that, he began having occasional convulsions, had poor depth perception and was unable to look at a human face without feeling terror. Unable to practice medicine anymore, his life changes and he starts selling ice cream instead. His wife gets sick, and in his disconcerted state is unable to notice the symptoms early enough, and she dies. His daughter is eventually married, but she dies in childbirth soon after. He moves to America and does well selling ice cream, but he avoids going to welcome the newcomer because of the bad memories it dredges up.

Back in the past, in the Syrian desert, a girl named Fadwa notices the Jinni’s glass palace and tells her father, Abu Yusuf, about it. Yusuf later ends up at that same spot and sees it, a glittering palace with a man at the gate, but he assures his daughter there was nothing there.

Chapter 6

At the end of September, the Rabbi introduces the Golem to cooking. She does not eat, but takes to baking with enthusiasm. She bakes too much in one night, and they decide to bring the excess to the Rabbi’s nephew, Michael Levy. Michael runs a hostel for new immigrants, the Hebrew Sheltering House. They give the Golem the name of Chava. After meeting, Michael suggests that Chava get a job with with Moe Radzin, who runs a bakery. The Golem agrees to the plan.

Chapter 7

Arbeely takes the Jinni to a wedding, but the Jinni finds the whole thing exasperating. Afterwards, the Jinni explores the city. In central park, he comes upon a fountain with a carving of an angel at its center. An attractive woman, Sophia Winston, explains to him what it is and he notes that angels, where he’s from, are depicted differently. Before they can speak further, Sophia’s old aunt whisks her away. The Jinni asks a man where Sophia lives. The man points out the Winston mansion, a newly constructed mansion nearby. The Jinni is able to melt through the iron bars to enter the property.

Sofia is from a wealthy family and expected to behave well, marry and have kids. But Sofia longs for adventure. Today, she daydreams of the foreigner she’d met at the park, but suddenly the man appears at her balcony at home. That night Sofia is supposed to attend a party her parents are throwing. Sofia pretends to be ill, and she and the Jinni end up having an illicit tryst out on the balcony. Afterwards, the Jinni runs home through the rain, though it weakens him. Meanwhile, Sophia heads downstairs for the party and the next day it is declared a success.

Chapter 8

The Golem goes to work at the bakery, and which has just had two assistant leave. Anna Blumberg is their remaining assistant and is still upset over the departures. The Golem quickly becomes their best employee, and Anna is unhappy, feeling like she no longer measures up. Still, Anna was good with the customers, a skill the Golem didn’t have. The Golem rents a modest room and lives by herself now.

The Rabbi worries about what will happen if something goes wrong. He recalls a demonstration of a crude golem once who refused to stop attacking a creature and had to be destroyed. He’d been instructed that golems are creatures that cannot be stopped once they get a taste for destruction.

Chapter 9

Meanwhile, Arbeely discovers that with the Jinni hard at work, he is able to fulfill bigger orders. As of the end of October, he realizes that he is no longer poor now. He gives the Jinni some extra funds and encourages him to get a place of his own. The Jinni likes making sculptures of birds. One day, he goes back to the Winston mansion, sneaking into Sophia’s room. She is happy to see him, and they make love again. Afterwards, she notices his cuffs.

He starts telling her about the jinn, but is unable to finish his story. He explains that there once was a powerful human king, Sulayman, who had all the knowledge of the wizards and was able to control the jinn. When he died, his knowledge was scattered, but they knew eventually humans would be able to recover the knowledge to bind the jinn.

Before he leaves, Sophia admits that she is engaged, but asks him to come again later.

In the past, in the Syrian desert, after seeing the Jinni’s palace, Fadwa has a dream with a man in it. The man is a Jinni and he confirms the existence of the palace that she saw. In her dream, he says he simply wants to talk to Fadwa and asks her about life. He then asks if he can come back to chat with her again some time, and Fadwa agrees.

Chapter 10

Yehudah Schaalman has continued his search for unending life, trying to prevent his day of reckoning, seeking out and harassing witches and rabbis to try to gain this knowledge. Wondering about what happened with his Golem, he uses an incantation to determine to find out Otto is dead, leaving the Golem alone. It also reveals that New York may contain the secret to unending life that he is seeking. Schaalman decides to head to New York.

At the bakery, the Golem gets a pay raise, but Moe Radzin asks her not to tell Anna. The Golem feels guilty, knowing that it’s impossible for Anna to work as hard as she does. She talks to the Rabbi who tries to allay her guilt, encouraging her to save the money for some unknown future use just in case. The Golem also worries that the Rabbi is sick and will die soon.

As the Rabbi walks home, he thinks of what the Golem would do if she knew he was still considering destroying her. He also knows that he only has a few months left to live.

Chapter 11

Arbeely tells the Jinni to get an umbrella to protect himself from the rain. The Jinni then goes to a shop in the Bowery owned by a fence named Conroy and buys a candlestick. Above the store is a brothel. As he heads back to Washington Street, a woman who seems strangely familiar to him propositions him, but he says no. She accidentally drops a bottle of opium and snatches it back up, before leaving.

The Rabbi makes the decision that the Golem must be bound to a new master. He crafts a careful enchantment, but one that requires the Golem’s consent to enact. Before he can decide who that master should be, the Rabbi has a heart attack and dies. The Golem shows up to meet him and finds him on the floor instead. She finds the envelope containing the “commands for the Golem” as well. Seeing him there, she cries for help, but it’s soon established that he’s dead.

Distraught and unable to sleep, she goes out walking. The comes upon the Jinni, and they each instantly recognize that the other is not human. She sees that the Jinni is a creature of fire. The Jinni sees that she is a creature of earth. She says that her name is Chava and that she is a golem, but then she runs away. Meanwhile, the encounter awakens the Jinni’s curiosity and excites him.

Mahmoud Saleh has insomnia is out that night and spots a man he recognizes as being alight with fire. He is able to look this man straight in the face and it confuses him and he wonders what the man (the Jinni) is.

Elsewhere, Yehudah Schaalman arrives in New York.

Chapter 12

The Jinni tells Arbeely about his encounter with the clay woman. Arbeely worries about the Jinni causing trouble in a Jewish neighborhood, afraid of inciting racial violence. Arbeely worries that the woman will talk about finding a dangerous creature living in Little Syria, and he angrily warns the Jinni that his action could put everyone’s lives here in danger.

They have a funeral for the Rabbi, but as a woman the Golem is not permitted to attend. Afterwards, Michael goes through his uncle, the Rabbi’s, papers, storing some of the papers with his uncle’s handwriting into a satchel and bringing it home. Michael feel sick not long after, with delirious visions, and ends up at the Swinburne Island hospital.

Elsewhere in the ward, Yehudah Schaalman uses his magic to cause a distraction and stamps his own immigration papers. In line for processing, his name is deemed insufficiently American. They give him a new name, Joseph Schall.

Chapter 13

After resisting for some time, the Jinni wants to talk to someone like him and decides to seek out the Golem. (He leaves Arbeely a owl sculpture as an apology.) Meanwhile, the Golem has been restless, too. She is sticking pins in herself and watching it heal when she sees the Jinni outside her window. He takes out a cigarette and light it with his bare hands. He leaves her a small silver bird sculpture. When the Golem sees him again the next day, she approaches him. They chat and agree to explore the city together one night a week.

When the Jinni goes home, it is dawn he finds an old man waiting for him. Mahmoud Saleh states that he knows that the Jinni is made of fire and demands to know what he is. Some young boy scare the old man off. They explain to the Jinni that Mahmoud is the crazy ice cream seller, but harmless.

Chapter 14

Michael Levy finally starts to feel better and is released after spending a few weeks in the hospital. It’s now almost New Years. Meanwhile, in the Sheltering House, Joseph Schall (Yehudah Schaalman) has been staying there and making himself useful in order to establish his position there.

When the time arrives, the Jinni and Golem meet and go to Madison Square Park. The Golem explains that she was created six months ago and that Golems are meant to follow a master. The Jinni points out that her master, Otto, could’ve made her kill people. The Golem thinks about how if the Rabbi had recognized her as a Golem that day they met and had confronted Otto, she might’ve been ordered to kill him. The thought bothers her. They agree to meet again next week.

Back in the past in the Syrian desert, the Jinni appears again to Fadwa in her dream and they dine together. She talks about her family. As they discuss the human concept of marriage, Fadwa is awakened from her dream.

Chapter 15

Michael Levy takes the Golem to the cemetary, and they go to a cafe together. Afterwards, the Golem tells Michael that he is a nice man, but she is not interested in him. He is disappointed, but accepts it.

Back at the Sheltering House, Schaalman chants an incantation that turns himself into a dousing rod so that he can locate this source of eternal life in New York. Afterwards, he walks around the streets of New York, hoping to see a sign of something to point the way, but nothing happens.

Chapter 16

When the Golem and Jinni meet for their fourth outing, they go to Washington Square Park. They discuss faith and religion, which nearly results in an argument.

Arbeely has a new customer, Thomas Maloof, a wealthy Syrian immigrant who wants an entire ceiling built of tinplate. It would be a huge undertaking, so Arbeely decides to turn it down. But the project sparks the Jinni’s interest. He uses up all the tinplate that Arbeely owns and needs more. Arbreely stresses out at him, wondering if the man will even return and if the Jinni’s design will be acceptable to him. The Jinni storms out in anger, deciding to visit Sophia to relieve his fury. Saleh, selling ice cream, sees him angrily walking and follows him. Arbeely tracks down Maloof, with the help of Matthew Mounsef, a young boy who lives in Maloof’s building. Maloof loves the ceiling, which relieves his stress. Maloof agrees to buy it on the condition that the apprentice first explain the rest of his plans before proceeding.

At Sophia’s mansion, the Jinni sneaks in again, but comes across a frightened maid and runs out. Saleh has been following him but passes out on the street from the cold. The Jinni, who recognizes him from their previous encounter, has no choice but to get in out of there, in fear that Saleh will lead them to him if he doesn’t. After Saleh awakens, the two talk and the Jinni tells Saleh that the reason he can look at the Jinni’s face but no one else’s is because he was once possessed by an ifrit that must’ve left a mark in his brain.

Back in Arbeely’s shop, the two make up. Arbeely realizes that the Jinni is not an apprentice, but an artist. Arbeely offers to make the Jinni a full partner in the business.

Chapter 17

One night as the Golem and Jinni meet, she tries to break his cuffs, but finds that the metal refuses to give way, even to her inhuman strength.

The Jinni’s roof generates a lot of interest in Arbeely’s tinshop. Matthew Mounsef is very interested in the work, and he helps out the Jinni, who in turns pays him a little. After it’s completed, the Jinni tells Arbeely that the ceiling is not just a design, it’s map of the desert where his palace is, but the depiction of the palace has been omitted.

With the arrival of spring, the Jinni and Golem take a visit to Central Park. He shows her the angel fountain. As they chat, the Golem expresses anger at the Jinni because she thinks that he does not consider the effects of his actions on others, for example with him fooling around with Sophia which could be dangerous because of how powerful her family is.

Chapter 18

One day, Schaalman goes to Shimmel’s to pick up bread for the Sheltering House, but the line is too long. He goes to Radzin’s instead and is shocked to see the Golem, his Golem, working there. He leaves.

At the bakery, the Golem hears the alarmed thought of someone recognizing her, but doesn’t see where it came from and it disappears quickly. Meanwhile, Anna has been worried about pregnant, but soon announces that she is getting married and moving to Boston. In a cheerful mood, Anna invites the Golem out dancing. The next night, she goes out with Anna and her friends, Phyllis and Estelle. The Golem has a great time and nearly loses track of time, since she is supposed to meet the Jinni that night as well. She hurries off to find him and to invite him to go back to the dance hall with her. The Golem teaches him to dance. The night goes well until Anna finds out Irving has been with another woman and they are now fighting.

The Golem, concerned, goes to check on them and sees Irving hit Anna. Suddenly, her movements quicken and she hits Irving. With no expression, blood spurts from his mouth as she pushes him against a wall. Unable to stop her, the Jinni finally lights her clothes on fire. She awakens, as if from a reverie, not knowing what is going on. The Jinni instructs Anna to tell anyone who asks that a stranger attacked Irving, and then he picks up the Golem and runs.

Back in the past, in the Syrian desert, the Jinni talks with Fadwa in her dreams. She is getting married soon. She playfully invites him to the wedding ceremony. Then she dreams about seeing him during the wedding events, kissing him and making love to him. With a jolt, she’s pulled out of the dream as the Jinni realizes he let himself get drawn too deep into her dream. It had taken great skill for him to escape.

Chapter 19

As the Jinni looks for a place to hide her, he thinks about the locket around her neck, which he knows contains the words to destroy her. He knows that she’ll be tempted to do it, and takes the paper contained in the locket. When she finally regains herself, the Golem tells the Jinni that she thinks he’s a bad influence for convincing her to be more free and for forgetting that there’s some things she should shy away from. They agree to stop meeting.

At home, the Golem is determined to destroy herself, but finds that the paper is missing. She realizes that she needs someone to watch over her. Set on this course, she marches up to Michael Levy and offers to marry him.

At the shop, the boy Matthew sees the Jinni using his powers to heat metal, and Matthew admits that he overhead the Jinni saying he was actually from the desert. The Jinni asks him not to say anything. The Jinni also decides to make a necklace to store the paper with the Golem’s commands, and he asks Matthew to assist him in making it.

Chapter 20

A newpaper reports that the onlookers described conflicting things about the dance hall assault. It remains under investigation and not much is known for sure.

Meanwhile, Yehudah Schaalman worries that what he is looking for is not here. Perhaps the whispers of eternal life in New York were just indications that the Golem is here, since Golems could theoretically enjoy eternal life. Still, he refuses to give up. He had heard that a Rabbi named Avram Meyer (the Rabbi) had accumulated a number of precious mystical texts, but has now passed away. Schaalman also knows that Michael Levy is his nephew and likely has control of his possessions. But when asked, Michael says he donated the books to charities. As they chat, Michael also invites him to his upcoming wedding.

At the Winston home, Sophia is now engaged to Charles Townsend. However, the Winston family is foregoing their usual Rhode Island summer trip because Sophia is very ill. She feels it in her stomach. It does not seem like a pregnancy, but her menses has also not come. Inside her, it feel like a fire that is drowning in her body.

Michael ends up asking Schaalman to stand in as the father of the bride, which Schaalman finds very entertaining since he’s the man who created her. The Golem and Michael are married.

Chapter 21

Jinni enjoys working with Matthew. (Arbeely confides to Maryam that he thinks he Jinni prefers Matthew’s company over his, and he notices that Maryam seems weary about the Jinni despite being someone who always manages to see the good in everyone.)

In their married life, Matthew notices his new wife’s insomnia and how often he wakes to find her cooking already. Matthew is certain he loves her, and the Golem is fond of her new husband, too, though his constant worries tire her out.

Arbeely makes a delivery of necklaces to a shop owned by Sam Hosseini. As of late there is a trend of women posing in “Oriental” outfits for portraits, and Hosseini is sure the necklaces will be perfect for them. One day Sophia comes in and purchases a set of clothes for one such portrait for an engagement shoot, and she buys one of the necklaces from Arbeely’s shop as well. As she leaves and heads home, she spots the Jinni working in Arbeely’s shop.

Back in the past in the Syrian desert, Fadwa has fallen severely ill, and there are unspoken worries that she is possessed. When it becomes clear she is not improving, her father Abu Yusuf takes her to Wahab ibn Malik, a wizard, to request an exorcism. To his surprise, Ibn Malik says that curing her will be easy. But he wants to wait because he senses an opportunity to capture the Jinni that did it to her.

Chapter 22

One day, Matthew runs into Arbeely’s shop to grab the Jinni. Matthew takes him to his home, where Matthew’s mother Nadia Mounsef is lying on the floor. Maryam sees them and fetches a doctor. The doctor determines that she has Lupus and she is likely to die.

The Jinni goes home to find a blackmail letter from Anna Blumberg. She has no money and no job. She’s threatening to tell the police that the Golem attacked Irving unless she receives $100 dollars.

At Radzin’s bakery, a new girl, Ruby, has begun working there. Schaalman comes to the store while the Golem is at the register. The Golem notes that she cannot hear Schaalman’s thoughts. She later asks her husband, Michael, about Schaalman. It reminds Michael of the Rabbi’s papers that he kept in a satchel. The next day, Michael starts reading his father’s papers and discovers notes about the Golem named Chava. He also finds the spell “To Bind a Golem to a New Master.”

Back in the past in the Syrian desert, Ibn Malik tries to convince Abu Yusuf of his plan to capture the Jinni. Ibn Malik claims that he would order the Jinni to help Yusuf’s clan as well, but the Jinni itself would be bound to Malik’s will. Abu Yusuf does not like the idea of helping to enslave someone either. But he wants Fadwa to be cured and senses he doesn’t have much of a choice in the matter. Ibn Malik forges two items, a flask and a pair of iron cuffs.

Chapter 23

Nadia dies, and Maryam has taken Matthew in for the time being. She talks to Saleh the ice cream man about her worries that Matthew spends too much time with Ahmad (the Jinni). Maryam senses something off about him, and Saleh agrees.

The Jinni meets with Anna and gives her the money. He warns her that it is a loan, and any further demands are a bad idea. He tells her that he is dangerous when angered. Anna also mentions to the Jinni that the Golem is newly married to Michael Levy.

Afterwards, the Jinni is accosted by Michael who demands that he bring his mother Nadia back to life. The Jinni realizes this is why the boy came to get him instead of a doctor when he found Nadia lying there. The Jinni explains to the boy that a soul that is brought back will simply scour the earth searching for its body and howling in the ears of its loved ones pleading for help. The thought scares Matthew and he runs to Maryam, crying. Maryam gets mad at the Jinni. When he shows no remorse or compassion, Arbeely dissolves their partnership and kicks the Jinni out. The Jinni collects his belongings and lets Saleh know that he’ll be staying in the Bowery. He also gives Saleh the key to him room which has been paid for through the end of the month.

Meanwhile, Schaalman continues his search and believes that he is looking for a person. He runs into Anna while looking for Chava. Anna mentions the name “Ahmad”. Curious, Schaalman uses his magic to look into Anna’s mind to determine who Ahmad is, but all he sees is an image of bright flames.

After learning about Chava’s true nature, Michael spends the night at work, away from her. At the Sheltering House, he goes looking for his friend Joseph (Schaalman) to talk. Instead, at Joseph’s cot, he finds notes about the creation of Chava instead.

Chapter 24

Concerned about Michael, the Golem goes to the Shelter House to look for him. She finds him passed out drunk on the floor. He’s angry with her and when his hands turn to fists, the Golem’s protective senses enact. She only has time to tell him to “run,” which he does. Afterwards, she sees the papers on his desk an understands what’s going on. She also finds out about her link to Schaalman.

Saleh goes into the Jinni’s room which the Jinni had offered to let him use since it was paid until the end of the month. Schaalman finds him there and recognizes that Saleh has been possessed by an ifrit. In order to properly question Saleh, Schaalman performs a quick exorcism. Then, Schaalman looks into Saleh’s mind which reveals that the Jinni is in the Bowery. Saleh awakes to find that he is cured. He decides to take a walk to the Bowery and considers that he might warn the Jinni of Schaalman’s interest in him.

Schaalman finds the Jinni at Conroy’s. The Jinni’s cuffs start to buzz and suddenly both the men are transformed.

Chapter 25

Suddenly, the Jinni’s memory is returned to him. He recalls Fadwa and he recalls being captured. The Jinni had responded to a call from three Jinni who were in need of shelter. He had opened the gate to his palace, but suddenly a pair of cuffs were placed on him. He is frozen in pain as Ibn Malik completes the ritual by betraying and stabbing Abu Yusuf, letting the blood bind the enchantment. After the wizard explains to the Jinni what the situation is, he forces the Jinni to kill Fadwa to make his point. He then houses the Jinni in the flask.

The Jinni is also able to see what happened next. Ibn Malik is suddenly stabbed by Abu Yusuf (who had not quite been dead yet). He kills Abu Yusuf and then Ibn Malik dies as well. Later, a passing caravan finds the flask which gets passed down in the family. However, because their souls are bound, as long as the Jinni lives, Ibn Malik’s soul still lives on as he is reborn again and again, each time as an outcast obsessed with dark magic, and finally in the form of Yehudah Schaalman.

Schaalman is able to see the Jinni’s memories as well and learns about the Golem.

Chapter 26

Schaalman is knocked out in the commotion and the Jinni leaves the store. From outside, Saleh spots the Jinni and follows him. The Jinni goes to find Anna to ask her to give the Golem a message. He goes to Central Park, where he apologetically knocks out Saleh on a bench.

Meanwhile, the Golem has taken Michael’s satchel with all of the Rabbi’s papers and gone to the bakery. In the papers are a mix of spells, and the Golem wonders what to do with them. Then, Anna comes rushing in with the message from the Jinni. The message warns the Golem about Joseph/Schaalman, who is her creator and his master, and says that she needs to stay away from him. It also returns the paper with the commands to the Golem. The Golem gives Anna the sack which contains all the notes, and she asks Anna to hide is somewhere.

The Golem worries that the Jinni is going to do something to himself. She runs around looking for him, finding him curled up at the bottom of the fountain with the Angel in Central Park. She pulls him out with the help of Saleh, who has awakened. They need fire to heal him, and Saleh remembers seeing the Jinni visit Sofia nearby.

Chapter 27

With all of the Jinni’s memories crowding into Schaalman’s mind, it breaks and Schaalman is left thrashing on the floor. He struggles to cling on to his own memories. In his mind, he and Ibn Malik argue, and Schaalman accuses Malik of damning him, costing him any chance at happiness.

Sophia is at home when the Golem asks to use her fireplace, carrying the Jinni. The Golem then tosses the Jinni into the fire. It causes a commotion, resulting in the bulter, her father and three footmen coming in to see the Jinni in the flames. Sofia sends her father away and takes the Jinni, the Golem and Saleh to her room.

At the Shelter House, the spell for binding the Golem to a new master are still there. Michael is in his office when Shaalman comes in, kills him and takes the notes. Shaalman thinks to himself that even if it requires the Golem to agree to it, he can force her to with coercion.

Chapter 28

Anna hides the satchel at the dance hall without looking at its contents. However, in the Jinni’s memories, Schaalman has a vision of Anna and wonders if she is the person that knows how to get the Golem to do what he wants.

After the Jinni reveals what he knows to Sofia and the Golem, they discuss what to do next. The Golem mentions that perhaps they can use the Rabbi’s notes to free the Jinni, but the Jinni makes her promise that she will not use any of that knowledge. Instead, they devise a plan to lock the Jinni up back in the flask and return him to his people, the jinn. Arbeely is at Maryam’s cafe when the Jinni, the Golem and Saleh walk in. They give a brief explanation and Maryam willingly gives up the flask.

However, they want to get the papers from Anna too before they leave. Suddenly, the Jinni sees that Schaalman has gotten to Anna, who now has the papers. They go to the dance hall, where Schaalman is waiting for them. Schaalman offers them a deal, for the Golem to willingly agree to him as a master in exchange for Anna’s life. She agrees.

Meanwhile, Saleh has been watching them from afar. He watches as Schaalman instructs the Golem for how to seal the Jinni in the flask. Before she can do it, the Jinni tries to grab the paper from her necklace to destroy her. However, he is not fast enough. A scuffle ensues and Saleh rushes out. The Golem attacks him once, but Schaalman’s memories are too scattered for him to properly control either of them. Saleh is able to get his hands on the flask and then he locks Shaalman, not the Jinni, inside the copper flask.


Later, the Jinni and a young boy (Matthew) take a ship to Marseilles. He is taking the boy to live with his grandmother. The Jinni also has the flask with him. In Syria, he goes to the jinn and asks them to safeguard the flask. They agree.

In Central Park, Anna and the Golem walk together, along with Anna’s young son, Toby. Anna asks the Golem what she plans to do regarding the Jinni when he gets back from his trip, but the Golem doesn’t know. The book ends with a telegram from the Jinni saying when he’ll be back and telling her to expect him outside her window.

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Bookshelf -- A literary set collection game