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The Source of Light (The Mayfield Trilogy #2)

4.12  ·  Rating Details  ·  139 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Here is the second volume of A Great Circle, the highly acclaimed Mayfield family trilogy, from one of America's literary treasures.
Though a novel independent from The Surface of Earth, The Source of Light continues the saga of the Mayfield family, here focusing on Hutchins Mayfield, whose desire for self-knowledge removes him from his secure existence as a prep school t
Paperback, 336 pages
Published May 1st 1995 by Scribner (first published 1981)
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Carol Royce Owen
Sep 19, 2011 Carol Royce Owen rated it liked it
This provided a different perspective of the Civil Rights movement not always depicted in story - that of the people trying to help the blacks in the south, and for that reason I liked the book. The story is of a girl, Sam (Samantha) who lives in Mississippi in the early 60s when the push to get black people registered to vote has begun, much to the dislike of many who believe in keeping the blacks in their "place." Sam's mother has recently been targeted by this group because she lectured at a ...more
Sep 20, 2009 Julia rated it it was ok
I liked the overall message this book sent: that people are all damaged in one way or another and that sometimes they should try to think how their actions will affect the others in their lives. But, kind of like life, it was a somewhat painful and confusing to wade through. I wasn't crazy about the way it was written, with no more than a page or two NOT broken into little chunks which always seemed to want to be heavy in their own rights, not just as a part of the whole.
Sep 15, 2014 Kathy rated it liked it
Recommended to Kathy by: Was on remainder table; heard the author on NPR.
I think not such a great book. Yet, I do appreciate Hutchins' journey to maturity. We read lots of correspondence between Hutchins and his family members and friends. Everybody else writes better than Hutchins does, yet he he plans on becoming a poet. I didn't care much for Ann's letter-writing, either. I liked all of the elders in the book. The Source of Light reminds me of A River Runs Through It, which I prefer.
May 22, 2011 Kate rated it really liked it
Dark and disturbing in many places. Since Reynolds Price passed away this winter and was held in high esteem at Duke, I thought it time to read some of his books. I wonder if it is somewhat autobiographical since he studied at Merton in Oxford and was a NC native son. It certainly was not light reading and delves into characters thoughts and actions that deeply affect others.
Apr 28, 2008 Marguerite rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Southerners
Recommended to Marguerite by: Carolyn
I didn't know this was part of a trilogy when I read it, and I intend to go back and read the books chronologically at some point, but this novel also manages to stand on its own fairly well. The characters are interesting and well-drawn. Price gets the North Carolina and Virginia cadences and places just right. Thanks to my friend Carolyn for introducing me to the author.
Aug 14, 2011 Michelle rated it liked it
Nowhere near as dynamic as the first book. The story lines that carried over from the first book stayed strong, but the new focus on the older youngest character was muddled and less than gripping. Even so, I'd have enjoyed it much more if I'd not had to skip 4 sections due to homosexual content.
Aug 06, 2011 Alan added it
I had forgotten how much I like Reynolds Price's writing. Not much happens. A dying father, Hutchins Mayfield goes to study in Oxford, his relationship with Ann works or doesn't. The plot is not the important part. His writing is beautiful and poetic. It's well worth a slow, careful read.
Aug 11, 2009 Marvin rated it liked it
Very similar in character & style to its predecessor, The Surface of the Earth, except instead of spanning 3 generations, it focused on 10 months in the young (25) life of the third generation
Jan 05, 2009 bookczuk marked it as to-read
Shelves: bookcrossing
I caught this book in the wild, so that alone means it should at least be attempted (though this author and I don't have a good batting record.)
Mar 12, 2008 Amy rated it it was amazing
Reynolds Price is probably my all-time favorite authour although I haven't read him in awhile.
Michie O'day
Nov 23, 2013 Michie O'day rated it it was amazing
One of the best novels I've ever read.
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Reynolds Price was born in Macon, North Carolina in 1933. Educated at Duke University and, as a Rhodes Scholar, at Merton College, Oxford University. He taught at Duke since 1958 and was James B. Duke Professor of English.

His first short stories, and many later ones, are published in his Collected Stories. A Long and Happy Life was published in 1962 and won the William Faulkner Award for a best fi
More about Reynolds Price...

Other Books in the Series

The Mayfield Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Surface of Earth
  • The Promise of Rest

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