• Review
By – November 8, 2012

Her­man Wouk brought overt­ly Jew­ish themes to pop­u­lar fic­tion with Mar­jorie Morn­ingstar in 1955. Now, more than fifty years lat­er — in his 98th year! — comes his most Jew­ish nov­el yet, a romp of a sto­ry about moviemak­ing whose char­ac­ters are almost all Jews.

An eccen­tric bil­lion­aire wants to under­write a Hol­ly­wood film about Moses and turns to a famed author named Her­man Wouk for his impri­matur. The like­ly writer-direc­tor, Mar­golit Solovei, used to be roman­ti­cal­ly involved with Joshua Lewin, who hap­pens to be legal coun­sel to the film’s would-be pro­duc­er. Will the mon­ey come through? Can Mar­go write a block­buster screen­play that stays true to the Bible? Will Josh be able to rekin­dle their romance? This is an ingra­ti­at­ing enter­tain­ment that doesn’t need sus­pense to hold the reader’s inter­est from start to finish.

Wouk was mar­ried for 63 years to BSW,” Bet­ty Sarah Wouk, who died in 2011. She too plays a role in The Law­giv­er, act­ing as her husband’s can­ny lit­er­ary agent much as she did in life. The book’s epi­logue con­tains a pho­to­graph of her that she sent her future hus­band while he was at sea in World War II. This win­ning nov­el is also a touch­ing trib­ute to a life­long love.

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