I first read the book when I was in high school for our novel section of AP English. As a writer now, it is strangely thrilling to see how Paton's ideas and poetry influenced my own prose. "The Grapes of Wrath" by Steinbeck was good, but I felt that it lacked the words of the heart that Paton writes with. Never have I read a more simple and profound book, so lovingly crafted, so authentic and natural, that some fifty years later after Paton wrote the novel, it still has not been superceded. Kumalo's plight is everyman's plight; his burden our burden; his son our son. Dear students, don't read this book because your teacher tells you to, you will learn nothing that way. Read it, because you earnestly desire it, because it is well worth it.