For more than fifty
years, legendary author Herman Wouk has dreamed of writing a novel about the
life of Moses. Finally, at age ninety-six, he has found an ingeniously witty
way to tell the tale in The Lawgiver, a romantic and suspenseful
epistolary novel about a group of people trying to make a movie about Moses in
the present day. The story emerges from letters, memos, emails, journals, news
articles, recorded talk, tweets, Skype transcripts, and text messages.
At the center of The
Lawgiver is Margo Solovei, a brilliant young writer-director who has
rejected her rabbinical father’s strict Jewish upbringing to pursue a career in
the arts. When an Australian multibillionaire promises to finance a movie about
Moses if the script meets certain standards, Margo does everything she can to
land the job, including a reunion with her estranged first love, an influential
lawyer with whom she still has unfinished business.
Two other key
characters in the novel are Herman Wouk himself and his wife of more than sixty
years, Betty Sarah, who, almost against their will, find themselves entangled
in the Moses movie when the Australian billionaire insists on Wouk’s stamp of
As Wouk and his characters contend with Moses
and marriage, the force of tradition, rebellion, and reunion, The Lawgiver
reflects the wisdom of a lifetime. Inspired by the great nineteenth-century
novelists, one of America’s most beloved twentieth-century authors has now
written a remarkable twenty-first-century work of fiction.
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