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.
The first few words of every story are always the hardest to write. It's almost as if pulling them out, putting them on paper, commits you to seeing it all through. As if once you start, you are required to finish. And how do you finish when some things never end?
This. Book. Just... You know when you love an author so much that you don't even read the excerpt to see what their next novel is about, you just read it? That's how I started The Law of Moses, and if I didn't love Amy Harmon before, I think I might be obsessed with her writing now.
One thing I can say for certain is that Harmon isn't afraid to break your heart. And I don't mean a couple of tears here and there... I mean the full on sobbing and needing time to grieve and get over your pain kind of shattering. But after all that, she finds a way through her characters to allow you to come to terms with what's happened and even find happiness amidst a tragedy.
Georgia and Moses come together in a way that most young people do. But Moses is different. He's hidden and mysterious and does things that make no sense, things that get him into serious trouble. But he's innocent, and I think Georgia sees that, and despite all the warnings, she can't help but want to break through to him, know him, and see what's beyond the sarcasm and harsh words he insists on using.
Whatever it was, when Moses came to Levan, he was like water - cold, deep, unpredictable, and, like the pond up the canyon, dangerous, because you could never see what was beneath the surface. And just like I'd done all my life, I jumped in head first, even though I'd been forbidden. But this time, I drowned.
Most of Amy Harmon's books seem to have a touch of paranormal to them, and it's an element at the core of The Law of Moses. It seems to be the reason for everything. Bad and good and all in-between.
"You seeing things that other people can't doesn't make you the problem, Mo. It just means there are fewer secrets. And that can be dangerous."
Moses has a gift or curse, depending on what moment you're seeing in his life. And while this novel is definitely a love story, I think it's mostly about Moses and what brings him to come to terms with who he is.
From the moment that he and Georgia meet, her world revolves around him in some way or another. Even though she'd like to, she can't let him go, not completely, and it's not only this connection, but the incredible loss between them that, surprisingly, saves them both.
Nobody told me that resisting would feel like trying to breathe through a straw. Futile. Impossible. Unrealistic.
I'm going to stop there because I've been as vague as I can manage and honestly don't know what else to say without giving away vital details. I'll finish by saying that Amy Harmon is an incredible storyteller and her writing literally makes me have to stop and take a breath sometimes. It's just that beautiful.
Read this book.