Cry, The Beloved Country recap

I love it when we meet for book club in someone’s home! It means a cozy setting and often yummy treats.

And of course great conversations!

Cry, The Beloved Country brought five of us together Monday night. Some thought the court scene gripped us the most, others found the hunt for Absalom our favorite part.

I know others read it and were unable to come. I’d love to know your thoughts on the book. Leave a comment if you feel so led.

“But there is only one thing that has power completely,
and that is love. Because when a man loves he seeks no power,
and therefore he has power.”
-Alan Paton, Cry, The Beloved Country

Discussion Questions: Cry, The Beloved Country

Hey ladies! Here are some questions to get your mind rolling on our upcoming discussion of Cry, The Beloved Country. It’s not that we expect you to know the answers to all of these questions; it’s that more perspectives enrich the conversation.

Monday, August 16th. Paradise Bakery, Hamilton Town Center. 7pm. See you there!

*This book traces how the loss of faith, the breakdown of the family concept and
communication between people leads to moral breakdowns and a complexity of problems. Note the particulars of these losses and those breakdowns.

*In one or two sentences articulate the theme of this novel, a theme that is universal applying to all people at all times of history.

*What is Alan Paton’s greatest concern in this novel? How does he define racial reconciliation?

*The opening poetic scenes of the novel introduce beauty and ugliness. How does this
foreshadow themes?

*The concept of fear is found on almost every page. In what way does this contribute to the story? What is Paton’s spiritual answer to the problem of fear in Book III?

*What does the main character Stephen Kumalo have to learn? How does he change?” What
does he do that shows you his dark places? What role does Msimangu play in Stephen’s spiritual progress?

(I took these questions from the Moody Radio Book Club Discussion Questions for Cry, The Beloved Country. )

Alan Paton

Alan Paton
January 11 1903 – April 12 1988

-born in Pietermaritzburg, Natal Province -I had to look this place up my South African geography is a bit rusty. Now it’s callled KwaZulu-Natal.

-he went to Maritzburg College and the University of Natal, then he was a high school teacher.

-He later was a principal of the Diepkloof Reformatory where he introduced a new way of reform with an open dormitory policy, work permit policy, and home visitation policy.

-after WWII he spent some time touring other reformatories across the world. This is when he started writing Cry, The Beloved Country.

-he was a anti-apartheid activist.

-he wrote several other works with the continued theme of the race and politics of South Africa

-His personal motto was, “South Africa must be saved one person at a time.”