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Jozi Gold > Week 4

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message 1: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisadannatt) | 1038 comments Mod
Chapter 36- end

message 2: by Leanne (new)

Leanne Hunt (leannehunt) Hello, valiant discussion members! We are into the final stretch of the Jozi Gold book chat and it seems to me that it will be a week ahead of schedule because August is such a long month. never mind, the story calls for a speedy finish, and indeed, this is how I wrote it. Perhaps we could talk a little about the underlying themes this week? The most obvious one, indicated in the title, is gold. Any thoughts around this?

message 3: by John (new)

John Mountford (KillMandela) | 735 comments Finished!
Well done on holding your nerve for the past three weeks about your heroine, Jeannie! Despite some severe criticism from myself, you responded with the patience and dignity worthy of your protagonist. In the end, she does silence (most) of her critics, and does demonstrate the strength and growth required of a leading lady. The twist at the end with Walter was most satisfying, and left me feeling a little ashamed that I was so quick to write her off.
Craig, however, is still an a-hole. Valery, in hindsight, deserves him, and he her. She displays some redeeming features in the run-in, but ultimately must be held accountable for playing a devious second fiddle to a woman such as Jeannie. You led us into that trap, and the one with Karen as the supposedly strong sister, with great skill.

Themes? There are many, but for me two stand out:

1) Love is blind. There is no rule book to follow, and often our hearts lead us astray. But it takes more than passion to build a successful relationship beyond love. This, your story convinces me is true. Beyond Walter and Jeannie, Angelica and Paul are our hope for the future.

2) Is it better to be an honest fool than a clever knave? In the end, the reader must decide...and in deciding, expose themselves to themselves. As a (moderately) clever knave myself, I am grateful for the opportunity your novel afforded me to do this.

Well done on writing a meaningful story. I do think, however, you were in too much of a hurry to get to that meaningful end-point. You could have done more to make this a true romantic genre drama...but I think you know that. It's a shame that you will not go on to rectify that in a future novel - you certainly have the writing ability, and knowledge, to do that.

Thank you. I loved the discussion, and enjoyed reading your book (again).

message 4: by Leanne (new)

Leanne Hunt (leannehunt) Thank you so much for your thoughtful engagement, John. Your overview of the themes here is very interesting. The one about the reader having to choose his response in the end and thereby exposing himself to himself is fascinating. I didn't consciously set out to do that but I can see how the open-endedness would prompt a self-aware reader to do that self-scrutiny.
One of the strong underlying themes for me in writing Jozi Gold was how and where people invest their time, money and effort. Jeannie invests in family togetherness, for example, while Walter invests in deepening his own integrity. Francis starts out investing in things like shoes and jewellery but ends up grasping that her inheritance is what she really cares about. On a wider scale, South Africa invested in the 2010 Soccer World Cup in the hope that its team would bring glory and honour to the nation. The fact that the book ends before the teams get to compete, and that the reader knows how Bafana Bafana actually fares in the competition, is an indirect comment on investment as a risk. Even so, I believe it is a worthwhile risk, which is why I am turning my own attention to property investing for the foreseeable future.
Thank you for affirming my talent as a fiction writer. I have certainly learnt a lot from this discussion,, thanks to both you and Vicki. Maybe I just need to live a bit before I plunge headlong into another — and this time, more gradual, more well-rounded — romantic drama!

message 5: by John (new)

John Mountford (KillMandela) | 735 comments Dear Leanne,
I'm glad to hear that you've not shut the door on writing another book. As we know, there are few things more challenging in life than writing a well-constructed novel. Repeating the process, again and again, brings with it great personal growth.
Your theme of investment is - in hind-sight - clear. It's a good one, with great potentiality. Perhaps you should have spelled it out by referring to the gold mines as a metaphor throughout, and not only in the title: relationships are like mining: risky, hard work, but potentially of great value.
Good luck with your new investments!

message 6: by Leanne (new)

Leanne Hunt (leannehunt) Vicki, you made me smile with your comment about another book! Thank you for being part of this discussion and for contributing your strong opinions to the debate. I, too, am waiting for your next book. Is this trip to New York a research holiday or are you going to visit family? I look forward to reading your review of Jozi Gold when you return.

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