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The Lawgiver

The Lawgiver

A Novel

  • reading group guide
  • customer reviews
A romantic and suspenseful epistolary novel about a group of people trying to make a movie about Moses in the present day, The Lawgiver is a story that emerges from letters, memos, e-mails, journals, news articles, 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, Margo does everything she can to land the job, including reunite 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 movie.

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.
  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 240 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451699395 | 
  • October 2013
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The Lawgiver





Sorry to trouble you. That Andrea with the British accent just rang yet again. She already rang at 9 this morning on the dot. She said Mr. Warshaw would make it worth my while if I would put him through to Mr. Wouk on the phone even for a minute or two, “by mistake.” (A gross offer of a bribe?) She still won’t say what it’s... see more

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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Lawgiver includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Herman Wouk. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Young Margo Solovei is brilliant and talented, but a relatively unknown writer-director in Hollywood. She is also a secular iconoclast, despite having internalized the lessons of her rabbi father during her strict Jewish upbringing in Passaic, New Jersey. When Louis Gluck, an eccentric Australian multi-billionaire, promises to finance a movie about Moses if the script meets exacting standards, Margo surprises herself and the rest of the movie industry by landing the job. In order to move forward with the ambitious project, Margo must convince a legendary author and his guarded literary agent that her screenplay truly captures the spirit of Moses. In The Lawgiver, Herman Wouk has created a work of divine metafiction—incorporating both himself and his real-life wife/agent, Betty Sarah Wouk, into the thick of the plot. When Margo resumes a relationship with her estranged first love, Joshua Lewin, an influential lawyer with whom she still has unfinished business, she finds herself propelled into an epic story even she c see more



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