This was a terrific fantasy novel set in turn-of-the-century New York City. It tells the story of two immigrant misfits, a golem and a jinni, and how they come to confront their separate issues of identity in a foreign land. The author, Helene Wecker, writes with such amazing skill and in an easy, confident narrative voice; it's impossible to believe this is her first novel. She writes in a timeless style - this story could have been written just as easily fifty years ago as last year. To pace a 700+ book so elegantly is an incredible feat - only at the very end as things come to a climactic conclusion does Wecker's grip slip a bit from the story's graceful rhythms. At times the story reminded me of Scarlet Letter - the character of Yehudah Schaalman compares quite well to Roger Chillingworth!