Saturday, May 31, 2008
Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton is set in South Africa during a politically difficult time for the "natives" as they are called by the white men in charge of the government and businesses. It's the story of Stephen Kumalo, a native priest, who goes on a journey to a "big city" to find his sister and his son both of whom have not written or returned from the alluring city. What he finds there is a broken system set on keeping the natives ignorant and poor while the white men make profits off their labor. The book follows Kumalo's discovery of his broken family and his broken country. When he finally returns, he sees the need to amend the tribal problems that have been growing for quite some time. This book is a slow read, but the characters grow in your heart and the words resonate with your thoughts. Read this book if you're interested in race relations, if you enjoy historical fiction, or if you have time to sit with a book for awhile. I give it an 8.5 out of 10.