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The Promise of Rest

(The Mayfield Trilogy #3)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  269 ratings  ·  18 reviews
In this stunning and fully independent conclusion to A Great Circle, Reynolds Price tells the complex, moving story of a man's return home to die of AIDS and of the unexpected effect that his arrival -- and his death -- has on his family.

Wade Mayfield's parents are separated, but for the remaining months of his life they and their friends come together to care for Wade wi
Paperback, 368 pages
Published November 5th 1996 by Scribner (first published May 1st 1995)
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3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  269 ratings  ·  18 reviews

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May 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Ever read some writers and wonder why you didn't discover their pleasures sooner? Maybe I wasn't ready to appreciate Price until the appropriate time in my life he would resonate and connect with significant meaning. This one is a keeper, a final volume in a trilogy begun nearly forty years ago, later collected in omnibus as "A Great Circle".
Extremely moving account of a family coming to terms with a loved one's death to AIDS. Price belongs to the grand tradition of Southern writers exploring t
May 01, 2011 rated it did not like it
I realized after the fact that this was the final book in a trilogy, and I had not read the first two books. This made the book seem lacking. There were gay and racial themes, but I found the characters to be unsympathetic
Isaak Brown
Dec 03, 2017 rated it liked it
I didn't finish this, and normally rate books I quit 2 or lower. However, I read 50% and stopped mostly because the topic felt dated - the heart of the AIDS crisis. So I don't blame the book exactly. I probably would've loved it in the 80s/90s.
Talmadge Walker
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Class A writing, as if William Faulkner had penned a novel about the AIDS crisis.
Gary Branson
Finished the trilogy, glad I read for the overall 20th century feel, didn't find the characters that appealing overall.
Sep 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Like many others, this was my introduction to Reynolds Price, and as such, I was embarking on a journey that essentially began with the first book of this trilogy 'The Surface of Earth.' It is strongly noted as a paraphrase on the corresponding jackets of each of the corresponding volumes that each book can be read as a 'stand alone' novel. I chose to do this, partly because of the fact that I endured frustrating hardships in trying to locate the two previous volumes, and also to test a theory t ...more
Aug 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
A marvelous book about a father's troubled love for a son who is dying of AIDS. Though it deals with issues of sexuality, race, & class, it never has the cliched feel of political correctness. George Minot says great literature is always about death. I'm never sure I agree & could probably come up with a list of great books that aren't about death. Even this one, which focuses on the young man's dying and adds the imminent death of a 100+-year-old relative for good measure, felt very lif ...more
Aug 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Of the three books in this series, this one best fits the bill of being a stand-alone story with a solid and poignant tale to tell. As part of a series, it is probably the weakest at bringing in the previous storyline, but it does not suffer in the last bit because of that. Reading this story did a great service in assauging my disappointments in the content of the second book-it's amazing how the way a topic is presented can make ALL the difference.

This book is beautiful. The series of three bo
Price tackles many weighty subjects (father-son relationships, AIDS, death, death of a child, homosexuality, race relations in the South) in this florid novel. His language is beautiful and composed, but as a whole, the novel struck me as very staged and unreal. His characters have no separate voices of their own; their dialogue is all equally unbelievable and stilted, even though eloquent. I couldn't believe in this people as realistic and thus quickly lost interest in them as characters.
Apr 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Open-minded people
Recommended to Marguerite by: Carolyn
I found this every bit as engaging as The Source of Light, and I like that Price followed up on some characters I thought were vivid, whose stories are interesting. I also like the topical nature of the third volume of the trilogy, an area in which I've done some volunteering. It's not neat, and it's not pretty, but it's realistic.
Dec 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone!
For anyone who is going thru physical/emotional distress. I cannot say enough about this book! This book is about Price's stuggle with cancer and his eventual paralysis. This book is about hope and faith.
Mariah Burton Nelson
Poignant and well told but in 2014 feels outdated. Fortunately fewer gay men are struggling with whether they are going to hell nowadays. Some stylistic quirks (no moment is left alone; it's always a long moment or slow moment or extended moment) got in my way but still a good read.
Wendy Knight
Mar 10, 2008 rated it it was ok
This book was probably better than I rated it, but I guess it just didn't strike that chord with me...
Aug 29, 2010 rated it liked it
Well written, but full of people I came to dislike. Talented writer and his intelligence is reflected in his characters, but I didn't enjoy the time I spent with this confused family.
Mar 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Reynolds Price is probably my all-time favorite authour although I haven't read him in awhile.
Jul 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I have read Price since I first moved to NC - 40+ years ago. It was so interesting and enjoyable to see his NC folks & language & scene dealing with a contemporary issue - HIV.
Apr 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-fiction
I was 50 pages into this novel before I realized I'd read it in the mid-90s. It is a beautiful and powerful story. And its Reynolds Price, so the writing is elegant.
Mar 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved all of Reynolds Price.
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Lesley  Hogan
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Mar 10, 2009
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Dec 23, 2011
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May 28, 2018
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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

Other books in the series

The Mayfield Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Surface of Earth
  • The Source of Light