Scapegoat: A Novel on the Life of Moses

Joan Lawrence, Author Peter Owen Publishers $29.95 (188p) ISBN 978-0-7206-0708-6
Like the ceremonial goat sent into the wilderness to carry away the people's sins, the fictional Moses in this unusual first novel bears with scant complaint the burden of his brothers' guilt. The profile that emerges from this re-creation of the exodus of the Jewish people out of Egypt is a psychologically divided man, torn between his people and his God, scarred by the arrogance of his brother Aaron and the contempt of his sister Miriam. Boldly cast in the form of a ruminative autobiography, and affecting a noble, measured narrative style, the novel brings to life an all-too-human prophet pulled between his resentful wife Zipporah and a young Cushite woman whom he briefly marries on impulse and whose memory haunts him. Regrettably, the Moses revealed here, though highly intelligent, analytical and sensitive, is not remarkable for sheer doggedness, hardly the charismatic figure of legend. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1988
Release date: 12/01/1988
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