Cry, The Beloved Country
By: Alan Paton

“For mines are for men, not for money. And money is not something to go mad about, and throw your hat into the air for. Money is for food and clothes and comfort, and a visit to the pictures. Money is to make happy the lives of children. Money is for security, and for dreams, and for hopes, and for purposes. Money is for buying the fruits of the earth, of the land you were born.” (204-205)

Cry, The Beloved Country is a compelling story about the racial injustice that once occurred in South Africa. A pastor makes his way through Johannesburg trying to find his son that fled his home back in Ndotsheni to become a part of the city. He stumbles along a white landowner named Mr. Jarvis, and they start to realize they have more in common than they think. Once the pastor tracks down his son after tracing many footsteps, he is able to communicate with his son. But he doesn't know that his son has committed a terrible crime and will have to pay a punishment that is worse than all the others. No matter how hard you try, you can’t avoid the past.

When I started reading this book, I thought it was going to be a boring story about the history of South Africa. I didn't expect to like it at all, but I was wrong. I enjoyed it because it was different than anything I have read before. It includes many different perspectives of the racial situation that was going on at the time. The drama between some of the characters leads to make assumptions but the actual ending throws you off. Even though it was a great book, during the parts that had dialog, it was hard to understand who was talking to who because it doesn't say the name of the person that is speaking. Other than that I rate it a 4 ½ star book because it was an awesome story that includes history about a country that I didn't know much about, but now I do.

Image from 1951 film "Cry, the Beloved Country"
Alan Paton (Author)
Gold Miners in Johannesburg

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