Cry, the Beloved Country follows Stephen Kumalo, a Zulu parson, on his quest to find his son, following the receipt of a letter in relation to his ill sister. Through this journey Kumalo befriends a fellow parson who aides him in locating his estranged family, as well as providing moral support along the way.
The novel explores themes such as love and power in the tensions of a changing and uncertain country, during the early years of Apartheid. The protagonist is met with kindness, fear and hostility from the various intriguing characters that are introduced throughout his journey.
Following Kumalo on his sojourn, from his first impression of Johannesburg to the thoughtful and exquisite climax, is a heart wrenching experience. We see his character evolve from somewhat naïve to one that is wiser from his experiences.
The book is moving, thought provoking and beautifully written. A must read.
“In the city of Johannesburg a father seeks his delinquent son. His search takes him through a labyrinth of murder, prostitution, racial hatred and, ultimately, reconciliation. First published in 1948, Cry, the Beloved Country addresses the problem of race relations with the scrupulousness of the historian, the sensitivity of the poet, and stands as the single most important novel in twentieth-century South African literature.”