The Lawgiver by Herman Wouk

This was a very fun, very easy read with a lot of humor. The story is basically the effort being put forth by a group of people, with various motives, who want to get a movie about Moses made in Hollywood.

The main character is Margo Solovei, a writer who grew up in an Orthodox Jewish household, who attended an orthodox Jewish school and whose rabbi father, is less than thrilled with her life choice to become a Hollywood player.

Like a fascinating web that spins out and out, the story is told through Margo’s correspondence, emails, faxes, meeting notes etc. with different people who have a vested interest in the film or a vested interest in Margo.

The project is being financed by a Yiddish Australian tycoon whose reasons are never entirely clear for making the film. Herman Wouk and his wife are major characters and at the end of the book is a very touching tribute by Wouk to his wife, with her picture. One could almost say she was his muse.
Other characters are Margo’s childhood sweetheart, a friend of a friend who becomes a good friend, producers, directors, charlatans and a reluctant low profile Aussie sheep station owner and reluctant but very good actor.

There was one very entertaining sub-story involving a friend from Jewish School and her orthodox husband and their marital highs and lows. Shirley and Avram were thoroughly entertaining and a much needed break in the wheeling and dealing part of the story that centered on Hollywood.
This is a quick read and an easy one. I actually read it in between other books when I needed a quick break from something heavier. This is a pretty fun read. Three and a half stars.


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