Cry, the Beloved Country

Cry the Beloved Country book coverFirst published in 1948, Cry, the Beloved Country remains one of the most beautiful and stirring books of the 20th century.  The story of a divided and hurting South Africa, Alan Paton’s narrative focuses on two fathers:  a rural priest and a wealthy landowner.  Reverend Stephen Kumalo must journey from his native district to search for his sister and his son, but what he discovers is agony and catastrophe.  Meanwhile, James Jarvis grapples with the senseless death of a son he never fully understood.  In Paton’s own words, Cry, the Beloved Country “is a song of love for one’s far distant country…it is a story of the beauty and terror of human life.”  Both simple and poetic, it is ultimately a story of hope.