When I received this book from the publisher, I didn’t know that it was a very short book (smaller than I novella). I think it took me 10 minutes to read and once I had finished it, I wasn’t quite sure what the moral of the story was and what I had to take away from it.
This retelling of an ancient Jewish legend – the Golem – dates back to the 1500s when the Jews of Prague were being viciously persecuted. Their spiritual leader, Rabbi Loew, also known as The Maharal of Prague, created a formidable creature out of clay whose mission it was to protect the Jews of the city.
This retells the story of the Golem through the eyes of a young boy, Frantz. Despite warnings to never enter the attic in the synagogue, Frantz climbs up. There, he is transported back to the time when the Golem was created.
The first thing that I would like to state about this book is that there are some amazing illustrations all the way throughout by Maurizio A.C. Quarello that captured my attention and my imagination.
I am not Jewish, and I wasn’t familiar with this story but it sounded so intriguing when I read the synopsis. As aforementioned, I didn’t know how short this book actually was and I was gearing myself up to read a 200 page (ish) novel about the Golem and awesome adventures. Alas, I got the awesome adventure part, but not the novel. This short story taught me about the Golem and it was a very interesting story and one that I would love to learn about in more depth.
From reading it, you can tell that Cohen-Janca is a good writer and uses descriptions to her advantage and she describes the world around her beautifully, however, I’m not quite sure what she was trying to get across with this story; is there a moral of the book that I didn’t pick up? Is there a lesson that I should have taken away from this? I feel like something got lost in the translation.
I also found the ending to be very strange with two of the characters! One minute, Franz is coming back from his deep sleep and the next, he’s talking about marriage with a girl he hardly knows!
I feel like – in order for this book to make sense to me – I will have to do some further research and read other texts about the Golem of Prague as something just felt missing in this story.
It was a beautiful story with incredible illustrations, but I simply cannot make sense of it!
Disclaimer: this book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review