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Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton

I had read this book many years ago, but when it came to my attention recently, I decided it was time to reread this classic novel of South Africa. The opening is especially lyrical, expressing the beauty of a beloved land and grief at the destruction of its fertility in over-grazed lands. But within a couple of pages, the story moves into a foreboding of the deeper grief that arises from the system of apartheid. A standout image for me was that of white drivers going out of their way to offer rides to black Africans who walked 11 miles each day back and forth to work during a protest boycott of the bus system.




Giants In The Earth by O.E. Rolvaag

This is the story of the immigration to the ND Territory Great Plains when there was absolutely nothing there. Per Hansa, his family and two other families formed a caravan of covered wagons as they trudged across the land. Each had a cow tied to their wagon and they lived on the meager supply of milk the cows provided. Per Hansa got left behind a few days when his young son became ill and they couldn’t travel. It was a miracle that he did find the others. They started out from Fillmore County, MN. When they got to theirdestination they built sod huts. Per Hansa plowed and seeded fields as he cut sod, therefore was ahead of the game. As his crop of potatoes came in

earlier than the ones who spent their time on the hut alone. Per Hansa had been a fisherman in Norway so knew from those days how to navigate and he also learned how to Dr.when they spent weeks at sea.


The author tells of the horrible winters, the plague of grasshoppers, storms and illnesses they endured with no Dr. or minister to help. The story covers a few years and ends with a settlement of quite a few homes, some of them built with lumber and the start of a civilized community. It does have its sad parts but all in all a story of hope. This is a good and easy read. It is an old book I believe published in 1928. It was written in Norwegian and translated to English. Reviewed by: D.C.



 Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

Siddhartha is about a young Hindu's quest for enlightenment. It is a very good book, that like Hesse's others is basically philosophy told as a story. However, this story guise is not transparent, the plot is interesting and very well translated from the German. If you're interested in Hesse but don't want to tackle some of his larger books, Siddhartha is a good place to get a feel for his writing. Reviewed by: Kelly K.


To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Rereading this book after decades proved unexpectedly enjoyable. It is beautifully, thoughtfully and carefully written and depicts interesting and touching aspects of living in a small southern town during the depression, including racial conflict and misunderstanding. Characters are sympathetically drawn; humor is found throughout - to make you smile, not laugh aloud. Sadly this book is no longer often taught in schools (although it has been ranked second to the Bible in changing lives) because of some dismissive, no longer acceptable language. This is another Pulitzer Prize Novel well worth your time. You'll be rewarded if you pick it up again or if you read it for the first time.

Reviewed by: Martha R.

Comments (1)

Anonymous said

at 1:41 pm on Jul 20, 2006

I agree that Cry, the Beloved Country deserves 5 stars. Some of the novels passages are so beautiful that I wept.

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