Monday, April 14, 2008

Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton

Cry, the Beloved Country is set in post-WWII South Africa during the prelude to Apartheid. The story is about (Stephen) Kumalo, a pastor who witnesses the destruction of the family, the tribe, and the land around him. As Kumalo works to put the pieces of all these things back together, he learns some of the greatest truths in the world: the more civilized we are the less civilized we become, that defending the family is essential to our success as a people, and that forgiveness- the greatest of all gifts- can bring about miracles in the unlikeliest of places.

The story is very sad for the first two-thirds of the book and you should probably skip this one if you are depressed or have a prodigal in your family. If you are fortunate enough not to be in these circumstances however, I definitely think this book is Something More Substantial. The at-times lyrical writing conveys a beautiful overall message and the ideas about family and community are worth pondering for anyone.


Kim said...

I've heard of this book many times but didn't know it's setting or the premise behind it. Now that I know I definitely will be adding it to my TBR list. Thanks.

Chain Reader said...

I listened to the audiobook of this one and the lyrical writing was so beautiful to listen to.