Author: Alan Paton
Title: Cry, the Beloved Country
Description: An old priest from rural South Africa goes to Johannesburg to find his sister and his son, with whom he has lost touch. Transplanted from their rural lives, they have succumbed to bad company, temptation, and poverty. While the sister agrees to return to their small village to raise her son, the priest’s son, Absalom, has suffered a different and heartbreaking fate. Meanwhile, a rich white landowner finds that his son has been murdered in a burglary gone bad.
Review source: This was a book group selection.
Plot: I pretty well described the plot above, but the plot is barely important compared to the characters and the writing.
Characters: Stephen Kumalo and uJarvis, Absalom and Arthur, are white and black, young and old, poor and rich. They are both richly drawn characters and representations of South African people.
Writing style: This book is literally beautiful. It’s just poetry.
Wrap-up: One good thing about the book group is that it gets me to read some classics that I should have read by now, but just haven’t, somehow. This book surpassed its reputation and all of my expectations; it was lovely, and it broke my heart. 5/5*