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Walking to Mercury (Maya Greenwood #2)

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3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  647 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
In The Fifth Sacred Thing, readers fell in love with Maya Greenwood, the 98-year-old writer who led Northern California's successful 21st century rebellion against a racist, totalitarian regime of the South. Walking to Mercury takes readers back to the 20th century and powerfully dramatizes the forces that shaped this extraordinary woman.The book opens and closes with the ...more
ebook, 496 pages
Published November 23rd 2011 by Bantam (first published February 3rd 1997)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Megan
Mar 25, 2009 Megan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I loved this book! My brother got it for me because he's into Starhawk and he thought I would like the story because it is heavily influenced by the 1960s counterculture. He was right.

You really got to know the characters well and could empathize with them. Rio and Maya's relationship was so magical at first and you really felt that and when it changed I was really hurt too. I also loved the layout of the story. It takes place while Maya is carrying her mother's ashes as a middle aged woman and
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R. C.
I tried to care about the characters, but they came across as whiny, privileged people. I tried to be fascinated by the settings, but the author didn't include (through her character's voices) near enough detail, adding to the sense that these were spoiled, oblivious people. It did occur to me that this was intentional, but I couldn't stand it anymore by the time I was halfway through the second chapter.
MotherMagic
Lovely sequel to Starhawk's novel, Fifth Sacred Thing. This one takes us between the 60's and the 80's, between hippie psychedelic youth, to antiwar activism, to mid life crisis in landscapes of Haight-Ashbury, New York, and Mexican curanderas, to trekking the mountains of Tibetan Nepal. The vistas are gorgeous, the soul searching potent, the nostalgia delicious. Very magical, loving, and beautiful.
A
Feb 11, 2010 A rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first introduction to Starhawk was from her eco-Feminist Sci-Fi, The Fifth Sacred Thing. The novel pits a Los Angeles dystopia against a San Francisco utopia several decades after the collapse of the United States due to nuclear arms. One of the main characters, Maya Greenbaum, is the subject of Walking to Mercury.

Of course, I was shocked to find out that Walking to Mercury was nothing like FST. It's a fiction story that examines the lives and loves of three central characters, one of which i
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Coquille Fleur
Feb 28, 2010 Coquille Fleur rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a prequel to Fifth Sacred Thing. Part of me wonders if some of this was cut from that other (awesome)novel,and reborn as Walking to Mercury. It's a fascinating story of the hippie lifestyle and coming into adulthood of Johanna, Rio, and Maya. Kind of reminded me of Marge Piercy's Vida a little, but that's a good thing. I love Starhawk's fiction, because she weaves Goddess culture into her stories and it's all very magical.
Levanah
"...hopes to find out why the power that once pounded through her like a drumbeat has fallen silent." This may be JUST the book I need to read right now! [3/2010:]
Rainbowgardener
Mar 19, 2017 Rainbowgardener rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: glbt
Love Starhawk! Her novels reflect deep immersion in the peace movement, second wave feminism, and various rights struggles. Her characters live and breath and inhabit you long after you close the book. Their relationships are complex and dynamic. This one focuses a lot on the relationship of a black and a white woman and how it is impacted by racism.
Warren Rochelle
Apr 12, 2016 Warren Rochelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a big Starhawk fan. I can't tell you how many times I have read her cri de coeur utopian novel, The Fifth Sacred Thing. I have taught it a few times in a my first-year seminar on utopia. Yes, it has a Message--several actually--it is a rhetorical novel. But, then, I would argue that is inherent in utopian fiction.

Readers will find the same Messages, more or less, in Walking to Mercury, which is the prequel to The Fifth Sacred Thing and the "story of Maya Greenwood," the "ninety-eight-year-ol
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Anneke
Apr 06, 2016 Anneke rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm about 90 pages into the hardback book and I'm having a hard time reading it. I put down City of Refuge when this book became available at the library. I'm reading it because I want to know what lead up to the way things became in The Fifth Sacred Thing.

But this book is SLOW. And boring. And whiny. Not liking it. But I want to find out what happened. If she ever gets to it. Eventually. Otherwise, I'll go back to reading City of Refuge, which had the same magic and pizazz as The Fifth Sacred
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Fred Langridge
Sep 24, 2015 Fred Langridge rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Much more like a Carol Shields novel in terms of genre than like "The Fifth Sacred Thing", but I enjoyed it a lot. The viewpoint character isn't very endearing - she'd be an incredibly irritating person to be friends with - and that works quite well. As far as I can tell, it deals thoughtfully with issues of race during 1960s-80s anti-war/anti-nuclear activism. Bi main characters are always a bit of a selling point for me.
Colleen
This is the "prequel" to The Fifth Sacred Thing. It's about how Maya grew up and how her magick developed. It's pretty good, and is a really neat character study that does not set out to portray her as or any other characters as perfect or reaching for perfection, but as people with flaws and baggage who are growing, learning, changing, and making new mistakes as they do so. It's not as compelling as its precursor, but it's still a very good read in Starhawk's distinct style.
Laura Callanan
I was worried about reading this prequel to The Fifth Sacred Thing because I found that book so wonderful. And although it's true it isn't quite as good as that first novel, this one is still terrific. It's more emotional and character based that the first novel, which was much more political and philosophical. But the basic issues of environmental justice, spirituality, and human relationships are still there.
Susan Clark-cook
Sep 05, 2011 Susan Clark-cook rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read a lot of this author's non fiction and like her style of writing. She is a wiccan, feminist, eco-activist with strong points of view and her foray into fiction was a great surprise for me. I hope she writes many more in this vain, mystical and futuristic in theme but also has many thought provoking ideas and ideas of possibilities.
Alice
May 25, 2008 Alice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love this book! I re-read both every couple years. Maybe not as powerful or cohesive as The Fifth Sacred Thing, still it gives the back story to Maya, Rio & Johanna, ancestors to the grandchildren whose adventure makes up the "sequel"... being a child of the 60's myself I can totally relate to many of the things they went through and how the dream turned sour for many.
Olivia Jackson
Aug 17, 2015 Olivia Jackson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. Due to the fictional nature of the story, and the fact the MC is on the way to becoming more enlightened and more whole, I struggled sometimes trying to determine what was a genuine spiritual insight and what was the character not-quite-grasping something. I should probably read the book this is a prequel to, so I can see where all this leads.
Samantha
Sep 24, 2013 Samantha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a beautiful view into the woman and her loves we know and love from "The Fifth Sacred Thing." Such a beautiful journey. So worth reading and seeing how Maya became the woman we know and love. I'd love there to be another book that perhaps takes us from here, to 2047 and the journey she and her family took to get there.
Kelda
Feb 16, 2008 Kelda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fun-books
I can read it again and again! Starhawk goes where other authors don't, and makes things Real, and it's Really hard to be living the revolution, and it's really so wonderful, and revolution is so much more important in our little happy souls than how many mountains we can climb. I continually love this book.
Cass
Jan 03, 2014 Cass rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this right after The Fifth Sacred Thing. There's still a significant gap of time between the two story lines. I wonder if a third book will ever happen. (Maybe after the movie of The Fifth Sacred Thing comes out.) I enjoyed this one, too.
Siobhan
Mar 22, 2010 Siobhan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
my sister asked me to read this. The protagonist is forever searching and never finding because she is never satisfied. Peopled with flawed and real characters, unfortunately many of them are unlikeable. I was most interested in the philosophy.
Teresa
Jan 25, 2008 Teresa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I tried reading this as a book club book because we liked Fifth Sacred thing so much. I got about half way through and couldn't manage the rest. It was kinda boring and had a long section about all they learned from an acid trip... I just couldn't identify.
Nicole
Sep 16, 2008 Nicole rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
sequel to Fifth Sacred Thing. I liked the first book better. But it was still good!
Kim Zimmerman
Dec 18, 2008 Kim Zimmerman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I learned what it was like growing up in the 60's. I also learned about the Goddess and I love her!
Kiara Lee
A good read, but not quite as moving as Fifth Sacred Thing. Still worth the time for the way Maya, the main character, learns and grows.
Cicely
Sep 30, 2011 Cicely rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved reading this book. Quite an adventure story.
Jennifer Wyld
Aug 06, 2008 Jennifer Wyld rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a wonderful prequel to Fifth Sacred Thing with lots to get you thinking... Starhawk tells powerful stories...
Katy
Aug 13, 2010 Katy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Profound, inspiring, and impossible to put down
Sharon
Jul 31, 2007 Sharon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't love this one as much as I loved The Fifth Sacred Thing. I read it second, and it is the prequel, but I just didn't feel as connected to it.
Jennifer
Feb 08, 2012 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this whole series, but this one really speaks to how Maya, Joanna, Rio and Rachel got to achieving the spectacular version of San Francisco in 2048 in Fifth Sacred Thing.
Alicia
Jul 30, 2012 Alicia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't get in to it, gave up after 3 chapters.
Rhiannon
Rhiannon rated it really liked it
Jan 02, 2009
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Starhawk is an author, activist, permaculture designer and teacher, and a prominent voice in modern Goddess religion and earth-based spirituality. She is the author or coauthor of thirteen books, including the classics The Spiral Dance and The Fifth Sacred Thing. Her latest is the newly published fiction novel City of Refuge, the long-awaited sequel to The Fifth Sacred Thing.

Starhawk directs Earth
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Other Books in the Series

Maya Greenwood (3 books)
  • The Fifth Sacred Thing (Maya Greenwood, #1)
  • City of Refuge (Maya Greenwood, #3)

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“But a real vision, a real change, isn’t safe,” Maya said. “You don’t pay a workshop fee for it, you pay with your life.” 8 likes
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