If I tell you right up front, right in the beginning that I lost him, it will be easier for you to bear. You will know it’s coming, and it will hurt. But you’ll be able to prepare.
Someone found him in a laundry basket at the Quick Wash, wrapped in a towel, a few hours old and close to death. They called him Baby Moses when they shared his story on the ten o’clock news – the little baby left in a basket at a dingy Laundromat, born to a crack addict and expected to have all sorts of problems. I imagined the crack baby, Moses, having a giant crack that ran down his body, like he’d been broken at birth. I knew that wasn’t what the term meant, but the image stuck in my mind. Maybe the fact that he was broken drew me to him from the start.
It all happened before I was born, and by the time I met Moses and my mom told me all about him, the story was old news and nobody wanted anything to do with him. People love babies, even sick babies. Even crack babies. But babies grow up to be kids, and kids grow up to be teenagers. Nobody wants a messed up teenager.
And Moses was messed up. Moses was a law unto himself. But he was also strange and exotic and beautiful. To be with him would change my life in ways I could never have imagined. Maybe I should have stayed away. Maybe I should have listened. My mother warned me. Even Moses warned me. But I didn’t stay away.
And so begins a story of pain and promise, of heartache and healing, of life and death. A story of before and after, of new beginnings and never-endings. But most of all . . . a love story.
Amy Harmon is a great writer. There is a lyric and gravity to her stories, those that have her readers coming back again and again to read about characters they can relate to, the ones that straddle the line between fiction and reality. What Amy excels at, however, is the exhibition of clarity that her characters and, as a result of her mastery of story telling, her readers garner from the journeys the characters take.
Law of Moses is no exception. Here we have the story of two start-crossed (though I really hate using that sort of trite, over-used phrase), Moses and Georgia who could not be more different or more compelling as a match. Like the summary explains, Moses was left to die as an infant, crack addicted with the world giving him very little shot of making things easy for him. Georgia, by contrast was raised with a loving family, an extended family of foster kids and a willingness to fix things that are broken. Initially, Moses is one of the cracks she’d like to mend.
What happens after their initial dramatic beginning is the slow burn of love and attraction, the defiance found in young lovers so out of their depth yet so compelled by the emotions their relationship invokes in them that reason, responsibility both become an afterthought.
There is only the connection they find in each other and the fight they wage against the odds set before them.
And so Moses and Georgia, like thousands of lovers before them, fight the good fight, quickly coming to understand, with time and age, that love is the most complicated, most irrational battle they’ll likely ever undertake. It’s the price they pay for that lesson, however, that makes this story both bittersweet and breathtakingly satisfying.
Amy Harmon is best when she is telling stories that surprise, when she places a mirror up to her readers and tells them that what they read in her characters is a reflection of what we each feel in life. Improbable paranormal elements in the book notwithstanding, Law of Moses is yet another gem from the clever mind and giant heart of an author well suited and criminally talented enough to craft a fine, engaging story.