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The Lion Seeker
"Here is the South African novel I've been waiting for." - Lynn Freed
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Is this story Gitelle's or Isaac's

Created: 08/24/14

Replies: 20

Posted Aug. 24, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1303

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Is this story Gitelle's or Isaac's

Gitelle is the main character in the prologue, but as the novel continues, Isaac becomes the focus. How does Gitelle, Isaac's mother, maintain a central role? Is this story hers or Isaac's?


Posted Sep. 01, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebajane

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 184

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RE: Is this story Gitelle's or Isaac's

I think its Isaac's, though Gitelle's story is certainly a part of Isaac's. Isaac is most definitely a lion seeker


Posted Sep. 01, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jww

Join Date: 05/31/11

Posts: 128

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Two characters entwined

I believe it is Isaac's story, though it is hard to separate Isaac from Gitelle throughout the story. He does very little without her in mind. Because of her he makes good choices and because of her - or what he things he knows of her - he makes grievous errors in judgement. Isaac, with a different mother, would have been an entirely different person. But because she was such a strong, driven person, her influence on him was enormous.


Posted Sep. 01, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lynnw

Join Date: 09/01/11

Posts: 124

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RE: Is this story Gitelle's or Isaac's

The story is Isaac's but would not have existed without Gitelle. She was not only his mother she was the most influential person in his life for good and bad.


Posted Sep. 01, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mal

Join Date: 09/09/13

Posts: 155

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RE: Is this story Gitelle's or Isaac's

I feel it's BOTH their stories. These two are so entwinded a story wouldn't essentially exist with BOTH.


Posted Sep. 02, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
antypam

Join Date: 08/14/14

Posts: 15

RE: Is this story Gitelle's or Isaac's

I think it is at is core Gitelle's story. Isaac is an extension of her, and his life story the result of her history, her past choices, and even her current life circumstances. I think it is (to one extent or another) probably true with most young men, so molded by the upbringing, ideas, customs, fears and training of their mother. The constant, 'Are you a Clever? or are you a Stupid' question that permeates Isaac's life and thinking is his mother's voice, the driving force.
It makes me realize just how much my mother-in-law has affected my hubby, and wonder how much my 'voice' continues to ring in my sons' ears!


Posted Sep. 02, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 392

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RE: Is this story Gitelle's or Isaac's

I think this is sort of both Gitelle and Isaac's story because they were so closely attached that both took many actions that were for the benefit of the other. Gitelle was a product of all of the rather awful things that happened to her and as a mother was over protective and over ambitious for Isaac in an attempt to give him a better life as does every mother in history for the most part. Isaac, tried to live up to her expectations and to please himself but was continuously hit by failures and problems in his pursuit of wealth and as is so true of many used some questionable shortcuts that cost him dearly. Two people striving mightily for a better life and hitting many obstacles along the way.


Posted Sep. 02, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jeanettel

Join Date: 01/05/12

Posts: 53

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RE: Is this story Gitelle's or Isaac's

This is the story of the life of Isaac from a redheaded hooligan, high school dropout on the streets of Johannesburg to a young semi polished man on the make. His mother had great influence in his life with her ambitions; she is the force that drove him and the choices he made. His success however was bought at a painful cost to his parents.


Posted Sep. 03, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
RebeccaF

Join Date: 08/24/14

Posts: 12

RE: Is this story Gitelle's or Isaac's

I might have liked to hear more of Gitelle's story, through flashbacks or her own spoken memories.


Posted Sep. 03, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
MarieA

Join Date: 10/12/11

Posts: 149

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RE: Is this story Gitelle's or Isaac's

Without Gitelle's story, Isaac's story would not exist. The two lives and their worlds are intertwined. How agonizing were the events in both their lives--so much pain and heartache. Being "Clever" does not always result in success and happiness.


Posted Sep. 03, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Lea Ann

Join Date: 04/20/11

Posts: 99

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RE: Is this story Gitelle's or Isaac's

I agree with so many of the other readers and posters who believe the story is primarily Isaac's. Yes, Isaac's mother is a major, actually THE major influence in his life, but the story is his.


Posted Sep. 03, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beac

Join Date: 08/23/11

Posts: 70

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RE: Is this story Gitelle's or Isaac's

I have to agree that this is Isaac's story with a great influence by Gitelle. We do find out generally what happened to Gitelle, but we are inside Isaac's head and hold our own heads as he makes mistakes and questionable decisions throughout his young life. It is almost a coming of age story, but on a greater level than just coming out of adolescence. It is a human being learning to live with himself and others, and to accept forgiveness from others.


Posted Sep. 03, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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mary annb

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 16

RE: Is this story Gitelle's or Isaac's

I think this is Isaac's story, but I also think that his mother and her family are crucial to his psyche. South Africa is also a strong character in the story. Isaac is shaped by the culture he is a part of and his mother.


Posted Sep. 04, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paml

Join Date: 10/25/12

Posts: 66

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RE: Is this story Gitelle's or Isaac's

The story is Isaac's, but he was shaped and molded by Gitelle. Again, I think there is so much more to this novel then the actual story. Gitelle was almost a puppeteer.


Posted Sep. 04, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
terriej

Join Date: 07/28/11

Posts: 135

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RE: Is this story Gitelle's or Isaac's

I think it's Isaac's story, but the story would be very different if Gitelle wasn't involved. Her role was instrumental to his.


Posted Sep. 06, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
irisf

Join Date: 01/16/12

Posts: 89

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RE: Is this story Gitelle's or Isaac's

We are all the products of our environment and are greatly influenced by our upbringing. Giselle was greatly influential in isaac's life but this was definitely his story


Posted Sep. 06, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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catherinem

Join Date: 10/06/11

Posts: 23

RE: Is this story Gitelle's or Isaac's

Like others, I believe this is Isaac's story, in part because Bonert's family members were Lithuanian Jews who immigrated to Africa, and because Bonert, like Isaac, experienced Africa in his youth. Thus, it seemed somewhat autobiographical in nature; a retelling of his grandmother's stories.


Posted Sep. 07, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janeh

Join Date: 06/15/11

Posts: 158

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RE: Is this story Gitelle's or Isaac's

I think it is Isaac's story. Gitelle has experienced so much that has molded her into what she is before we even meet her. Isaac, however, developed into what he became in the pages we read.


Posted Sep. 09, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
annd

Join Date: 09/22/11

Posts: 4

RE: Is this story Gitelle's or Isaac's

I think that Gitelle uses her son like a puppet, the story is theirs.


Posted Sep. 10, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joanr

Join Date: 04/25/12

Posts: 35

RE: Is this story Gitelle's or Isaac's

In the end, it's Isaac's story, but his story is closely intertwined with Gitelle's (as the author notes in his interview). Their stories intersect so completely that Isaac's story is very dependent on Gitelle's and would be very different if she were different or absent.


Posted Sep. 12, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
roberts

Join Date: 08/20/13

Posts: 31

RE: Is this story Gitelle's or Isaac's

Isaac is the central character, but we come to know Isaac through his relationships with the other characters, first and foremost Gitelle, but also Abel, Hugo, Yvonne, Silas, Avrom and Meyer. The interactions between and among these strong, distinct and interesting personalities provide to the reader insight into the essence of each figure and into the world and times in which they lived.


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