The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
Reads like a nineteenth-century fairy tale. Manages to weave these mythical characters into a bigger story about the immigrant experience in 19th century New York. Wonderfully well-done.
Taught me a few new things about writing:
- You can use multiple perspectives to build tension into the narrative, by giving the reader access to thoughts and feelings that impact the main characters later on.
- It's okay to give opinionated descriptions. In fact, letting your character's perspective color the way they describe the world around them is a great way to make both feel more real.
- Even an absurd premise, if taken seriously enough, can become drama.