The Djinn Waits a Hundred Years

Viking. Jan. 2024. 320p. ISBN 9780593653456. $28. HORROR
Khan (Onion Tears) stuns with a multigenerational gothic tale infused with magical realism, set at Akbar Manzil, a crumbling, formerly grand estate off the coast of South Africa that now serves as a boardinghouse. Sana and her father arrive there after suffering a devastating loss. Curious, lonely Sana digs into the mansion’s history, discovering the diary of Meena, a woman who died tragically a century ago in the house. While Sana’s fascination with Meena’s story grows, she’s watched by a djinn, a spirit who once loved Meena and has been drifting, grieving and rageful, since her death. Sana is the first of Akbar Manzil’s eclectic collection of inhabitants to really look at the strangeness of their home, and the old wounds that her curiosity opens will change all of their lives forever.
VERDICT This novel is a mystery and a love story fraught with heartbreak, infused with Islamic mythology, and written in evocative, lyrical prose. Fans of Isabel Allende and Alice Hoffman will be enchanted with this beautiful book.
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