Cry, the Beloved Country

Cry, the Beloved Country - Alan Paton

This book is depressing, and hopeful, and depressingly hopeful. When Paton wrote this, apartheid was still a few years away from becoming reality, but you can see the roots of it here as Kumalo leaves his village and goes into the city of Johannesburg to look for his sister and son. He finds himself caught in the rift of racial strife and oppression, even as he preaches love and acceptance. Jarvis, a white man, is caught in the same position but from the other side. Where hate could easily tear these two apart, they come together instead in understanding. It's a powerful story, but the hopeful ending is even more cruel and depressing knowing what's looming so close and near in South Africa. 

 

The prose is lyrical and while there are no quotation marks used, it was easy to follow who was speaking and when. The lack of punctuation also made it feel like the whole book was being told to you, rather than simply reading it, if that makes sense.