Cry, The Beloved Country

Cry the Beloved Country cover imageCry, The Beloved Country

Alan Paton
General Fiction
Scriber, 2003
Paperback - 316 pages

Our thirteen-year-old grandson leaves tomorrow for a three-week Christmas holiday in South Africa. It brought to mind this classic. In the opening paragraph Paton describes the area around Stephen Kumalo’s village as “lovely beyond any singing of it”. Similar haunting and rhythmic prose carries the reader through this hypnotic and tragic narrative. Kumalo is an Anglican priest and Zulu elder whose son and sister have left the village and disappeared into the bowels of Johannesburg. He scrapes together what little money he and his wife have saved over the years and sets off in search of his family. This thread weaves the fabric of a story of hope and despair, tribe and colonialism, racism and redemption, Christianity and Animism. It will stay with you for a long time!