C.'s Reviews > Cry, The Beloved Country: A Story of Comfort in Desolation

Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton
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's review
Dec 22, 09

really liked it
bookshelves: history-politics-economics, i-wish-i-own, philosophy-ethics-religion, to-be-re-read, 2009
Read in December, 2009

"-What can a bishop say? Something is happening that no bishop can stop. Who can stop these things from happening? They must go on.
-How can you say so? How can you say they must go on?
-They must go on, said Msimangu gravely. You cannot stop the world from going on. My friend, I am a Christian. It is not in my heart to hate a white man. It was a white man who brought my father out of the darkness. But you will pardon me if I talk frankly to you. The tragedy is not that things are broken. The tragedy is that they are not mended again. The white man has broken the tribe. And it is my belief - and again I ask your pardon - that it cannot be mended again. But the house that is broken, and the man that falls apart when the house is broken, these are the tragic things. That is why children break the law, and old white people are robbed and beaten.
He passed his hand across his brow.
-It suited the white man to break the tribe, he continued gravely. But it has not suited him to build something in place of what is broken. I have pondered this for many hours and must speak it, for it is the truth for me. They are not all so. There are some white men who give their lives to build up what is broken.
-But they are not enough, he said. They are afraid, that is the truth. It is fear that rules this land."

This book wasn't exactly subtle, but it's difficult to say anything else bad about something that is so passionate and so right. Besides, it is quite beautifully written and, much like Greene's The Power and the Glory, it renewed my faith in the power of religion for good at the grassroots level.
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Reading Progress

12/21/2009 page 100

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message 1: by Moira (new) - added it

Moira Russell That book has one of the best openings.

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