The Law of Moses…
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.
This is an incredible novel, so much more than what it seems from the outset, and definitely not another good girl fixes the bad boy read – far from it!
There is so much depth and emotion to this story, so many heartbreaking moments (and I really mean heartbreaking in the way that forces you to put the book down and ugly cry – that sort of heartbreaking), yet it remains hopeful throughout. It’s a real talent to pull that kind of balance off. Written by less skilled hands, this could have really come off as a depressing read.
With shades of The Horse Whisperer coming through, this is a great novel for those who love to read about the intuition of animals and their relationship to healing. Personally, I really loved this aspect of the story. I was also very taken with the mystical elements, although to prevent being a spoiler, I’ll say no more on this, other than it being very well handled and highly believable.
The criminal mystery throughout held every other aspect of the story together well, with a great conclusive twist that did not disappoint. Of course, given my tendency to never be able to see the wood from the trees in crime/thriller/mystery stories, this twist was a ‘wow’ moment for me. Another ‘wow’ moment was when I read the line that opens the novel (the one above at the beginning of the book description) within its proper context of the overall story. You think you know, but you really don’t! Enough said.
Needless to say, I highly recommend this novel. But have tissues ready. Consider yourself warned!