Circle Book Group

Runkle School, 50 Druce St, Brookline, MA 02445

BOOK: The Lion Seeker by Kenneth Bonert.

This epic 20th century novel is set in South Africa. The Lion Seeker brings us Isaac Helger, son of Lithuanian Jewish immigrants, surviving the streets of Johannesburg in the shadow of World War II. Are you a stupid or a clever? Such is the refrain in Isaac Helger's mind as he makes his way from redheaded hooligan to searching adolescent to striving young man on the make … Will you find a way to lift your family out of Johannesburg's poor inner city, to buy a house in the suburbs, to bring your aunts and cousins from Lithuania? Meanwhile, South Africa's history, bound up with Europe's but inflected with its own accents -- Afrikaans, Zulu, Yiddish, English -- begins to unravel … We are caught, hearts open and wrecked, between the urgent ambitions of a mother who knows what it takes to survive and a son straining against the responsibilities of the old world, even as he is endowed with the freedoms of the new. [Minuteman Library Network summary]