Read Labour Day by Joyce Maynard Online


With the end of summer closing in and a steamy Labor Day weekend looming in the town of Holton Mills, New Hampshire, thirteen-year-old Henry--lonely, friendless, not too good at sports--spends most of his time watching television, reading, and daydreaming about the soft skin and budding bodies of his female classmates. For company Henry has his long-divorced mother, Adele-With the end of summer closing in and a steamy Labor Day weekend looming in the town of Holton Mills, New Hampshire, thirteen-year-old Henry--lonely, friendless, not too good at sports--spends most of his time watching television, reading, and daydreaming about the soft skin and budding bodies of his female classmates. For company Henry has his long-divorced mother, Adele--a onetime dancer whose summer project was to teach him how to foxtrot; his hamster, Joe; and awkward Saturday-night outings to Friendly's with his estranged father and new stepfamily. As much as he tries, Henry knows that even with his jokes and his "Husband for a Day" coupon, he still can't make his emotionally fragile mother happy. Adele has a secret that makes it hard for her to leave their house, and seems to possess an irreparably broken heart.But all that changes on the Thursday before Labor Day, when a mysterious bleeding man named Frank approaches Henry and asks for a hand. Over the next five days, Henry will learn some of life's most valuable lessons: how to throw a baseball, the secret to perfect piecrust, the breathless pain of jealousy, the power of betrayal, and the importance of putting others--especially those we love--above ourselves. And the knowledge that real love is worth waiting for.Joyce Maynard weaves a tale of love, sex, adolescence, and devastating treachery as seen through the eyes of a young teenage boy--and the man he later becomes--looking back at an unexpected encounter that begins one single long, hot, life-altering weekend....

Title : Labour Day
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780061920783
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 244 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Labour Day Reviews

  • Will Byrnes
    2019-04-23 05:54

    Henry is a 13-year-old living with his pet hamster, Joe, and his agoraphobic, damaged mother at the end of a cul-de-sac in Holton Mills, New Hampshire. He sees his father on Saturday nights for unappetizing outings to Friendly’s with dad’s new family. Henry is small, unathletic and on the lower steps of the social ladder at school. But changes are afoot. His body is changing in obvious ways and his interests are beginning to point, sometimes embarrassingly so, toward girls. Life takes a turn on the Thursday before Labor Day, when a bleeding man approaches Henry while he is in a store with his mother, and asks for help. The next few days change his life. Joyce Maynard - from NY MagazineHenry’s coming-of-age journey includes lessons on throwing a baseball, learning how to make a perfect pie crust, exposure to sexuality, his own and others’, admiration, jealousy, selfishness, selflessness, love and betrayal. He learns the power of hope over despair, and the impact of betrayal.My upbringing was nothing like Henry’s but, having once been a 13-year-old boy, I felt I could relate to Henry’s struggles. Maynard captured the essence of that curious time of life and adds a morally thoughtful dimension that gives added heft to her story.I ripped through this book in near record time. It is a fast read, but also a compelling one. Labor Day is a work well done.=============================EXTRA STUFFThe film was released January 31, 2014. I saw the film a couple of weeks prior. It is a beautiful piece of work, very true to the book and it is depressing how sexy Josh Brolin is. Makes the rest of us guys look pretty bad. Winslet is in fine form, of course. I hear tell that Maynard wanted to offer ladies of a certain age an image of hope. It is amazingly sensuous, and a real shame that it was overlooked by Oscar voters.The NY Times reviewer had a very different opinion of the filmGR pal Carmen has sent along a link to a fun article in Parade Magazine. Joyce Maynard had a very hands-on involvement in showing showing Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet how it is done when it comes to making a pie. Definitely worth a look. Gracias, Carmen.

  • PorshaJo
    2019-05-13 03:43

    I'm a recent fan of Joyce Maynard and just want to read all of her books now. But I should probably slowly, savor them. For years I have wanted to read this one, but it stayed in my pile. The movie came out, and I never watched it, because I wanted to read the book first. I said I was going to wait to read this one since it was her highest rated GR book. But I'm unpredictable about reads. Labor Day tells the story of one long, steamy Labor Day weekend told from the point of view of Henry. It's the story of longing, and wanting to be loved. Henry is 13 and lives with his mother. His parents are divorced and he eats dinner out once a week with his father and his new family. Henry doesn't feel like he belongs. He has no friends, except for his mother. His mother is haunted by her past and almost appears to go through the motions of life, not really living. She is practically a recluse. Until that one fateful day when they go to the store for pants for Henry. This is where they meet Frank, an escaped convict, who is also longing. And immediately, all three of their lives are drastically changed. Especially after that incredible Labor Day weekend that they spend together that seems like a life time. And also, how the smallest consequences can change entire lives of people.This was quite the slow, sultry read. A truly lovely story how people can ultimately find that one true love, that knows no bounds. I really enjoyed the story and listened to this one via audio, which was good, but not narrated by Maynard. While I did like this one, I found her book After Her a much more captivating read. I have the movie version ready to watch this weekend. And, I've already grabbed my next Maynard read....maybe I am predictable after all.

  • Suzanne
    2019-04-29 05:01

    4.5 StarsJust wow. I've met Ms Maynard too late in my life!This story would have been better for me, had I not watched the movie first. I liked both. I dare say I would have been obsessed with the book and rated a resounding 5 stars had I not been privy to the screen play prior to the novel. But this is okay with me, it just changed the route to get to the ending, in a way.The author added a handful of pages at the end, entitled “Don’t Try This at Home: How I Came to Write This Novel”. This is her story of how this story came to life. I like these added bits of gold, when the author gives their back story. What I gleaned from this is that Joyce is a trusting soul, likes to see the best in people and likes to see a story unfold, whether she has weighed up every little pro and con there could be - or not. I see this in myself in a way, and now am very keen to learn more about her and her work. This is my favourite part – “But the world I want to live in as a world in which it is still possible to believe in goodness, to trust in love. If a happy ending of sorts presented itself in Labor Day, I take no credit for it. The characters themselves created their story. I just wrote it down for them.”I like that Adele, our fragile leading lady trusted in this man she met, realistic or not, I love that she took a chance, and I also love that Frank was a good man who showed his love straight away. This is a story and JM saw it through. In her words and I’d echo them “Maybe it’s an impossibly romantic and idealistic story” but it’s a story of fiction which is there for the telling. I’m glad she told it!“Everybody talks about all this crazy, wild passion, he said. That’s how it goes, in the songs. Your mother was like that. She was in love with love. She couldn’t do anything partway. She felt everything so deeply, it was like the world was too much for her. Any time she’d hear a story about some kids who had cancer, or an old man whose wife died, or his dog even, it was like it happened to her”. I see a woman with passion here, I like what she’s written and I want to read more.Update, June 2016, a very cold winter: Months after reading I still think of this book. I stumbled across a delightful video of Joyce Maynard baking her 'pie'. Having a capable 13 year old at home on holidays before her siblings care of grammar school here she is following said recipe. Was fun translating sticks of butter and tapioca etc! Joyce was such fun and absolutely delicious I have to say! Here is my girl:and here is the final product: Too yummy:Finally, here is the link so you can see the lovely Joyce Maynard in action:

  • Barbara
    2019-04-26 03:34

    I must comment that early in my reading of this book, I was contemplating that it would be deserving of a 3 star rating. I certainly was in error, because as I progressed the story became richer and more nuanced. When finally I reached the denouement I realized that I held in my hands a beautiful, evocative gem, which had brought me to tears.Labor Day is the tale of a fourteen year old boy, Henry, who lives in isolation with his long-divorced, emotionally fragile mother. On one of their rare outings, he is approached by an injured man who requests his help. Henry and his mother pity him and take him to their home. It soon becomes clear that this is an escaped prisoner, but no ordinary man.The time they spend together is the moving, often delightful essence of this novel.Maynard has skillfully and poignantly fashioned the narrative in the voice of Henry. She has vividly portrayed the emotions of all her characters,especially those of this adolescent boy on the threshhold of maturity and sexual awakening.This was the first book that I have read by the uniquely talented Joyce Maynard. I look forward to exploring others.

  • Carol [Goodreads Addict]
    2019-04-24 05:47

    I have not seen the movie yet of Labor Day by Joyce Maynard, but I’ve seen enough movie trailers that I could read the book with the visuals of Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet in my head. About at the half way point if asked, I would have rated the book 4 stars. But somewhere in that last half when everything was happening, my heart was lost. 5 huge and well deserved stars is the rating I am giving this book.Henry is thirteen years old. He lives with his somewhat dysfunctional mother, Adele. Adele has several issues and at first, I was trying to come up with a proper diagnosis. But as I progressed through the book, it became obvious that her only true diagnosis was a broken heart. “She felt everything so deeply, it was like the world was too much for her.”During one of Henry and Adele’s rare trips to the store, Henry is approached by Frank who has escaped from prison. He is hurt and they take him home with them. During the six days he spent there, all of their lives were changed forever. We learn Frank’s story and you can’t help but fall in love with him. We learn Adele’s past, and the pain she has endured. These two people that have mostly only known loneliness find hope and love through each other.“If I’d never jumped out that window, I never would have found you.”The story is told from Henry’s point of view as an adult remembering back to that time. A time when he was struggling with sexual awareness, living a somewhat lonely and awkward existence with his mother, and struggling with his relationship with his own father. Those six days had a profound impact on Henry and molded the rest of his life. I can honestly say that these three will not be forgotten anytime soon. They have etched themselves into my heart and there they will stay.

  • Elyse
    2019-05-01 04:01

    If people saw the movie....Even 'with' a talented cast.., it's not nearly as good as the book!!!!

  • Vanessa
    2019-04-22 02:01

    A solid enjoyable read. I enjoyed the storyline, who cares if a little unbelievable. It was good to have the story told from the point of view of 13 year old Henry, even if some of that pre pubescent teenage musings got a little awkward. I loved Adele, you feel her sadness, she's a great character and I can understand how she fell for the charming con on the loose, the element of danger and being a recluse made him seem very compelling, you kind of wanted her to have a happy ending even under the questionable circumstances. I enjoyed listening to the audiobook, it was a simple easy to follow story and now I'll just have to force myself to watch the movie...hello Josh Brolin ;) lol

  • Karen
    2019-05-20 00:52

    Very good book..I hope the movie is as well done....

  • Kasa Cotugno
    2019-05-22 08:49

    There is a metaphor at the heart of this book, that of the creation of an upper crust for a peach pie and the difficulties encountered when the hands are shaky and the weather is humid. It must be handled delicately and involves a little magic. Such magic is present when a stranger who also happens to be an escaped convict lands in the house of a 13 year old self-described "loser" and his agoraphobic mother, both of whom could use a great deal of help. If the setup sounds a little too facile, the execution really is more complicated. Other reviews have said this is told from the point of view of that 13 year old, but it really is told from the point of view of that boy as an adult. It is a memory piece, not a journal of days. Such qualifiers as "at that time" give this away, making it much more than just a record, but a haunting realization of the power that a positive person can have at a pivotal time in someones life and how the result resonates decades after the fact. The novel is short in length, but is reminiscent of John Irving at his best.

  • Bianca
    2019-05-08 04:51

    %@#&$^I wrote my review directly on GR, (I know, I know, it's a bad habit) and when I clicked post, it all went crazy.So here we go again, penning a quick review as I've got to dash out.As you can see, I truly enjoyed this audiobook. These days, due to my huge TBR list, I rarely read books made into movies that I watched. BTW, I thought the movie was pretty good, despite Josh Brolin (he's a good actor, but I'm not a fan). I hadn't read Maynard and upon seeing this audiobook at the library it called to me.Henry, the narrator of this novel, remembers the events of the Labor Day long weekend, 1987, when his mother and he took home an injured man, named Frank. Henry was thirteen at the time. He lived with his mum, Adele, who's almost a complete recluse. His father remarried and Henry sees him once or twice a week.Maynard's writing was very atmospheric. I could feel the heat, the literal summer heat, and the figurative one between Adele and Frank, who had a very unlikely relationship. But was it, really?The poor Henry has mixed emotions, amplified by his puberty.I don't want to give away too much. I absolutely loved this book. The characters were well drawn. Frank was quite the man, maybe a bit too good to be true (if I keep my cynical hat on), but somehow I bought it, or better said, I allowed Maynard's writing and Wilson Bethel's beautiful narration to transport me, and I appreciate that.A gorgeous little book! A wonderful audiobook.

  • Jen
    2019-05-12 08:50

    I really, really tried. I got to page 88 and just gave up. The plot is contrived and I was just beginning to be able to suspend the disbelief necessary to get into the book, when I gave up on trying to be able to figure out who was speaking and/or thinking. It is completely pretentious to write an entire book with a ton of dialogue and NOT use proper punctuation to indicate who is speaking and who is having inner dialogue. I get it, I get it, it's a big bad impressive way to write, but only if done well. It is not done well here. I gave up when I realized on my lunch break at work that I rather be working than reading this book. I actually read the reading guide questions, interview with the author (which was disturbing) and the prologue of another book of her's and didn't crack open the book proper. I'm reading this for a book/movie club, where we read the book and then see the movie to determine which medium worked better for the story. Unless the movie is God-awful, it HAS to be better than the book. At least in a movie you can usually tell who is talking or if its an internal monologue. This book gets one star because the dude on the cover is hot. That's about the best I can say for this book.

  • Carmen
    2019-04-26 07:41

    I'm just annoyed. I usually would finish a book if I made it this far, 78%, but I'm just done. DONE.First, Maynard starts off on the wrong foot by deciding to write a book with no quotation marks. Why is this so popular?!?!?! Is it "artistic?" Is it "deep?" Or what? Listen, quotation marks were invented for a reason. The reason being that it's difficult to read a book where you can't separate the dialogue from anything else.THEN.It's always surprising and a bit awkward when I find I've walked into someone else's masturbatory fantasy. (Unless a book is labeled as "romance" or "erotica"). So I didn't really know what to say to Maynard when I found myself smack dab in the middle of her sexual fantasy. "I'm sorry, I didn't realize....," I said awkwardly, quickly glancing away from her. "Do you want me to leave?" What are you talking about? What am I talking about? What am I talking about!?!?!?! I'm talking about finding a bleeding convict and taking him home with you. Of course he's very handsome, and the perfect gentleman, and a war veteran. And he can cook like a champ. And play baseball. Baseball and pie! America!Anyway.He's all like, (okay, imagine a sexy deep voice here)I need to ask you to take me up to your bedroom, Adele, he said. I'm guessing a woman like you would have a few scarves. Silk is good. Rope or twine can cut into the skin. Then they describe him tying her up for like a page and a half. He ties her up with silk scarves very carefully and lovingly. And sexually. He gives her a foot massage before tying her feet up. Uh-huh. I'm sure. Meanwhile she is like completely passive and also asking him to fuck her with her eyes.And then, of course, he has to feed her, right? Because she's tied up. And they describe him sensually and sexily feeding her for two pages.The son is watching all this and he's no idiot. He knows they'll be having sex within 24 hours or less.But it's okay! Because the convict is so polite, and strong, and manly, and fatherly. He helps the boy play baseball! He fixes the house! He fixes the car! He replaces light bulbs! He, um, ...makes sure that the mother isn't lonely in bed! Multiple orgasms! Perfect guy. What a great guy. WHO'S A CONVICT!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well, maybe what he did to get in prison wasn't so bad. I mean, it's not like he murdered his wife or anything, right? Right? *crickets chirp* Oh, hell no! No, no, no! You mean she's holed up in a house with a man who killed his wife!?!?!!?!?!?? He claims it was an accident. BULLSHIT! But they really love each other. Even though they've only known each other 5 days. I mean, he's great in bed! Doesn't that count for a lot?So the kid meets an anorexic girl and she tells him that sex is a drug that brainwashes people. She encourages him to call the cops on the convict and get the 10K reward. Even though it would be betraying his mom, who is happy for the first time in 13 years.You know he's going to do it. There's NO question on whether he'll do it or not, because he is very, very, very horny and this is the only female who's paid attention to him in HIS ENTIRE LIFE. He'll do anything the little girly asks him to do.And you, the reader, are like "Noooooo! Why?!!? Why are you going to shit all over your mother's happiness and Frank's happiness?!?! They are so happy and in love after only 5 days they are soulmates and stuff!" And then you're like: "Wait. This guy killed his wife."Also, you know the kid's an asshole. He's always been an asshole. You know he'd rat out his mother and destroy her because he's just like that. Okay? He's just like that. A female takes an interest in him, and suddenly his family loyalty is shot all to hell. Also, I REALLY don't appreciate being made to suffer through the explicit sexual fantasies of 13-year-old boys. Once was bad enough, but four or five times?!!?!? It was just getting disgusting. I just wanted it to stop.P.S. The writing (as in prose, not plot) is very good. Excellent writing.UPDATE: I finished the book. I FINISHED IT. And at the end it turns out that the asshole kid didn't turn the convict in, the little anorexic did.Also, the little anorexic lectures him about how sex is a drug but uses sex to try and drug (manipulate) him. Interesting.Lastly, let's talk about home invasion. Home invasion seems to be, in my experience, a popular sexual fantasy for both men and women. I don't get it. An armed man (or men) breaking into your home is not sexy. I DON'T CARE HOW "HOT" HE IS. Okay? Being held at gunpoint or knifepoint is not sexy. Being raped by a man who is threatening you and your family is not sexy. This isn't EXACTLY what happens in this novel, but it's close enough. It's f*cking creepy as hell. Not sexy. The end.UPDATE 2: I watched the movie. Slightly, slightly better than the book, as Winslet doesn't just roll over and let Brolin become Boyfriend, she actually does stuff like tells him anyone could come by at any time (lie) and that he'd better not hurt her son, etc. Very, very slightly better. But still bad.

  • Wendy
    2019-05-02 01:46

    I knew I had to read this book after seeing the trailer to the movie. And now that I have read this beautifully written novel I hope the movie does it justice.I watched the movie last night and although I enjoyed it very much I enjoyed the book more!

  • Jacquelyn Arseneau
    2019-04-29 05:51

    This book was GOD AWFUL!!! First the descriptions from Henry about listening to his mother have sex were just distrubing. I don't think any child would describe this to anyone and there was just no point in the book that it was even necessary.I wanted to love this book so much! I saw the preview for the upcoming movie and decided this would be a great read. It is told by Henry a 13 year old boy. An injured man (Frank) approaches Henry in a convenience store asking for help. Once getting home they discover that Frank is actually an escaped convict from a prison serving time for murder. Not only was the reason he was put in jail for murder so ridiculous - but it just wasn't convincing. Henry's mother is a nervous, anti social woman and after many heart wrenching times in her life she decided going out in public is to hard and decides to stay home for good - seriously this is the way you are looking at life?? Then her and Frank begin to fall in love (in the time frame of 5 days and are going to get married????? Seriously who gets married after 5 days of knowing someone?) and in reality that is all the book is about - there is no excitement and nothing as all kept me reading. The thing I hated most about this book - There is no punctuation when people are speaking. No quotations such as " " as all - makes it very hard to read and figure out who is even speaking in the book. This book has foolish reviews which made me think it would be something I would like - I was sadly mistaken and forced myself through the book. I can actually say I am looking forward to the movie and this will be one case where the movie is better than the book. There is no way it can be worse... really it was that bad!

  • Kinga
    2019-05-01 02:45

    There are a few reasons why I listened to this book. 1) It’s called ‘Labor Day’ and I listened to it on the Labor Day. This one is actually more of a coincidence than an actual reason but let’s put it there anyway.2) It takes place in New Hampshire in early September, which is when I arrived in New Hampshire twelve years ago to spend a year there. This is the nostalgia reason.3) I suppose I’ll come clean and say it: the audiobook is read by Wilson Bethel who looks like this:I fancied the idea of having him talk to me for hours. Of course , it would help if he was talking sense. There is nothing worse than a really hot guy who opens his mouth and you wish he never did because now there is no way you could ever bring yourself sleep with him.Luckily not the case with ‘Labor Day’ which turned out to be a decent book. It is narrated by Henry who looks back on one very hot Labor Day weekend when he was thirteen which changed his life forever. Henry’s mother, Adele, is not exactly in the shortlist for the Mother of the Year award. She is agoraphobic and barely leaves the house. The father is long gone having started a new family with someone better adjusted than Adele, so Henry lives alone with his mother eating canned and frozen food and dreaming about girls and sex. Little ever changes in their monotonous existence until that fateful weekend when Frank appears in their lives and it’s just like Adele to invite a possibly dangerous stranger into her house.As it turns out, Frank doesn’t seem to be dangerous and is quite possibly the best thing that could’ve happened to this tiny family. He cooks and fixes things around the house, and plays baseball with Henry. Here the book walks the thin line between an interesting story and a Hallmark Channel Movie where people meet an angel in an unlikely form of a fugitive criminal who teaches them to love again and make pies.What saves the novel is Henry, who having just entered puberty, is sure to complicate things the way hormonally unbalanced individuals only know how. I think those self-inflicted complications are the best part of the book which should end with the end of the weekend. I think three or four chapters of what was basically an epilogue were unnecessary. But I’m generally not a big fan of epilogues which, to me, are like the extra piece of chocolate cake. You think you want it but after you had it you realise it would’ve been better if you stopped eating after the first piece.As for Wilson Bethel’s performance, I particularly liked the low, raspy voice he used for Frank. It made Frank appear in my head fully fleshed out like book characters rarely do.I have also just learnt that this is being turned into a movie and Kate Winslet will play Adele. After Little Children it’s clear that she can play unhappy mothers well.

  • Sarah
    2019-05-11 03:34

    Well written and mildly satisfying, Labor Day is a very quick read. In fact, I read it just this afternoon after hiking. A suspicious stranger, who turns out to be an escaped prisoner, approaches a young boy and his mother for a ride while they're out shopping. They take him in, he offers to help around the house, and interesting bonds form. The mother is your standard borderline character, suffering from depression and desiring isolation. Her son is a typical teenage product of divorce, stepping into the responsible role when his mother won't. I wasn't quite sure how everything would be resolved -- it wasn't necessarily predictable, but it was very tidy. As nice (is that an insult?) as it all was, I can't help but feeling rather neutral about it. Neither fantastic nor terrible.

  • Judith
    2019-05-16 04:03

    Joyce Maynard caught my interest years ago with the publication of her memoir about her life with J.D. Salinger. At the time she was widely vilified for exposing an intimate picture of an author who is practically a national treasure. I found that book fascinating, well-written and I had no problem with her sharing her story with the world. By the time I finished that book I had more respect for Maynard than for Salinger. Labor Day is my first experience with her fiction and I found it hilarious, though it's not an intentionally funny book. A convicted murderer (Frank) escapes a prison hospital and meets 13-year old Henry and his mother, Adele, at a Wal-Mart type store. And they find him so charming within 5 minutes that, although bleeding and wearing clothes with the price-tags still on, he accompanies them out of the store and into their car, without objection,telling them at some point that he thinks he will hang out with them a few days. When they get home, Henry points out that it's against the law to harbor a criminal, and to get around this, Frank asks Adele if he could tie her up. She responds that she has a collection of silk scarves and Frank proceeds to tie her to the chair with her scarves. And even told through the eyes of a 13 year old boy, we get all the sexual innuendo in that scene. Then he says he makes the best chili in the world, and sure enough, Henry thinks later, while eating his chili and watching Frank feed his mother every bite, it is the best chili he's ever tasted. Frank proceeds to prove himself useful by cleaning out the furnace, fixing broken appliances, rotating the tires on their car, baking biscuits and peach pie, and teaching Henry how to catch a ball! That does it, next Labor Day I am going straight to Wal-Mart and I am going to stay there till I find me a useful convict to take home. I hope he can wash windows too. But that's not the funny part. What made me laugh was the narration of the 13-year old boy. This is Henry contemplating his parents' divorce: "What I decided was, it hadn't been losing my father that broke my mother's heart, if that was what had taken place, as it appeared. It was losing love itself----the dream of making your way across America on popcorn and hot dogs, dancing your way across America, in a sparkly dress with red underpants. Having someone think you were beautiful, which, she had told me, my father used to tell her she was, every day.. . ." yeah, that sounds like a 13 year old boy, only he'd have to be Truman Capote. If Salinger reads this book, he will get the last laugh.

  • Jaime
    2019-05-06 02:52

    I had mixed feelings about this book. In one way, it’s a gentle story about love and a teenaged boy who has had to be the adult for way too long. On the other hand, it feels a little contrived. A woman and her son bring into their home a strange man without even a flicker of worry or doubt or suspicion? Even before they find out he’s an escaped convict, you’d expect the situation to raise some flags. But, if you can accept the premise, the story of their Labor Day weekend does its job to pull you through. You can understand Henry’s swinging emotions about the situation — after all, he’s still a child — and his mother’s ability to fall in love so easily. Do we believe Frank’s story? All that matters is that Adele believes it.Where the book really lost me was in the chapters following the climax of the novel. I think way too much was said about the resolution, and the story would have been even more compact and powerful if that section had been cut into a single chapter. Overall, I’m not sorry I read it, but I think it could have been better with a minimum amount of work.

  • Camie
    2019-05-06 06:37

    The lives of thirteen year old Henry Wheeler, a lonely outcast, and his mother Adele, an emotionally fragile , reclusive, and also lonely woman , are about to change as they risk showing kindness to a stranger with a secret past. Spanning 6 days including Labor Day , this is a love story and coming of age story, and most recently a movie with Kate Winslet and Josh Brollin. I especially like the last chapters which are beautifully written. Is it wrong to try and grasp a bit of happiness , given the rare opportunity ? hmmmm. 4 stars.

  • Joan
    2019-05-12 06:44

    Another wonderful book by Joyce Maynard written mostly from the point of a teenager. Very well written and I’m sorry to be finished with it. I wish it could have gone on and on. I actually rate this 4.5. I listened to this book every chance I got and couldn’t wait to get back to it. I love her writing style. If this were a bookclub book I think there would be plenty to discuss. As with her other book this felt like a true story. I don’t want to include any spoilers so I won’t talk about the story. But just know it’s a story I felt compelled o finish to see what would happen.

  • SUSAN *Nevertheless,she persisted*
    2019-05-06 09:01

    A young boys coming of age story.Two lost souls finding each other.A sweet,sad love story. Very well written. Wonderful characters,that stay in character. Just a good,solid book. I highly recommend it.

  • Branwen Sedai *of the White Ajah*
    2019-05-21 01:46

    "She was in love with love. She couldn't do anything partway. She felt everything too deeply, it was like the world was too much for her."This story details the momentous events that take place over the course of Labor Day weekend when Adele and her teenage son Henry, bring a fugitive into their homes and their lives.I literally just finished this book a few moments ago, and I am still such an emotional mess right now that I should probably have waited to write this review but I wanted it to be as fresh as possible. This book. Holy shit, guys. This book is probably one of the most achingly beautiful books I have ever had the pleasure to read. It was so tender and heartbreaking and so unbelievably full of heart and emotion that I feel like this is going to stay with me for the rest of my life. This book is about family and loyalty and what it means to grow up, but it is also mostly about love. The kind of love that sweeps you off your feet and never puts you back down. The kind of love that you dream about. The kind of love that is wild and passionate and makes no sense at all and brings all kind of trouble to your door and still all you can do is get down on your knees and thank whatever gods there are above that that kind of feeling made its way into your life.This book is nothing short of amazing. "It hadn't been losing my father that broke my mother's heart. It was losing love itself. What she had loved was loving."

  • Laurel-Rain
    2019-05-06 03:02

    From the very beginning of “Labor Day,” the reader is immersed in the mind, emotions and everyday life of a thirteen-year-old boy during one memorable Labor Day weekend. All told from the first-person narrator Henry.Living in a small New Hampshire town, Henry is miserably aware of his limitations and those of his family members—from his mother, who is almost an agoraphobic, to his father whose new family with his new wife and new kids has no idea how to relate to him. Their stilted Saturday evenings out seem excruciating, and yet returning home to the mother whose need for him is almost too much…well, Henry is ripe for something extraordinary... something that will completely turn his world on end.And then, at the Pricemart store early in that Labor Day weekend, the totally unexpected thing happens. First of all, it is very unusual for Henry and his mother to be out at all. His mother Adele avoids stores to the point that when she does go out, she usually buys enough provisions to stock up, therefore avoiding another such outing for many weeks…or months.Therefore, it’s almost a quirk of fate, the two of them being in the store that day—it’s a last-minute clothes-buying expedition for Henry. So when the man, bleeding and injured, approaches Henry, asking for help, it is such a fluke that of all the people this man could approach, Henry would be there for the encounter. And from that moment on, events tumble forward into such an unlikely scenario that the reader is drawn in and inevitably mesmerized by the unfolding moments.We see the story unfold gradually, however, as the narrator takes us back and forth, filling us in on the backstory of each of the characters, helping us understand the context in which we find ourselves.And then, almost like a slow crescendo, everything builds to the dramatic ending.That’s all I’m going to say about the plot, lest I spoil it for the readers. Suffice it to say that the way you perceive certain things in life may never be the same again.Afterwards, we are gifted with a few scenes of Henry’s life in adulthood, looking back on that summer weekend and how everything affected him—and not just negatively. We see how one incident of piecrust making with a stranger impacts Henry so much that he becomes a master chef as an adult. We discover how all of the events shaped his feelings about love, passion, betrayal…and how the haunting consequences of one weekend informed so much of his life in the years to come.As I turned the last page, I wanted more…more about these characters and the events afterward; more of their experiences, living life through their eyes for just a little bit longer. They felt like friends…or possibly neighbors.I will not forget this story.

  • Rachel
    2019-04-29 08:52

    This is the stupidest book I've read in recent memory, and I'm not all that discriminating a reader, so that's saying something. To be fair, the last 60 or 70 pages are reasonably affecting, but everything leading up to that: pee yew.Narrated by 13-year-old Henry (who is prone to saying things like, "My body had been changing. ... [H]air had started to grow under my arms, and lower down too, in the place I had no words for." NO WORDS FOR.) who lives alone with his mother Adele, a borderline agoraphobic. On the Thursday before Labor Day weekend, Adele takes Henry to a K-Mart-like store to buy him a pair of pants (the extent of their back-to-school shopping) and while she's wheeling the cart around, Henry stands by the magazines reading a Cosmopolitan and is approached by Frank, a 40-ish man wearing slippers whose leg and head are bleeding. Frank asks Henry if Henry's mom will give him a ride and when Henry asks where to, Frank says, "uh, your house?" and when Henry relays this to his mom, who's so afraid of the world that she only leaves her house about once a month, she's like, "NO PROBLEM!" Long story short, Frank is an escaped convicted murderer, but he changes all the lightbulbs at Adele's house and cooks the world's best chili and and peach pie, so naturally he and Adele fall in love, have sex while Henry listens from his room next door, and decide to marry within three days.I haven't even told you the stupid, creepy parts yet.The sad thing is that this story -- about how three broken people become a family of sorts -- has the potential to be great. Maynard is a reasonably talented writer, but the plot points here are just so contrived and unbelievable. Also, she has no idea how to voice a 13-year-old boy. I give this an extra star because there's some good characterization of Adele, Frank, and Adele's ex-husband towards the end, but otherwise, this book was pretty crappy.

  • Jackie
    2019-05-19 04:36

    This is only a bound manuscript at this point, but I believe it's scheduled for late summer 2009 publication.I haven't read anything by Maynard before, but she's certainly on my list of authors to read more of now. This story, which I easily devoured in a lazy day at home, is touching on so many levels. Told through the eyes of a 13 year old boy, it's the story of five days when an escaped criminal comes to live with him and his mom, changing their lives forever. Henry feels responsible for his recluse mother, Adele, and spends all of his time with her. He's a bit of an outcast himself, being rather small for his age yet beginning the inevitable battle with his raging hormones. They meet Frank in one of their rare shopping excursions in town, and both immediately take to the bleeding man with the kind eyes. Frank does just enough "bad guy" stuff to help them pass a lie detector test should the need ever arise, but mostly he brings both of these broken people out of their shells and into remembering what being loved and being a family is like. This gentle story of love and hope is sure to be a hit.

  • Naomi Blackburn
    2019-05-05 03:53

    I was shocked how much I enjoyed this book. When I first started to read it, I thought "three stars...It is ok, not great." As I progressed with the book, the author drew me into the characters so much, I actually felt myself having sympathy for the escaped prisoner and hoping he would get a second chance at life. Now that is some good writing!

  • Laura
    2019-05-09 07:37

    Maynard does a very nice job pulling you into this story. At first I didn't know if this plot or narrator were believable but by the end you believe every word as the gospel truth. How can you dispute this characters experiences? Lovely story but heartbreaking at times. You might be surprised with how the author wraps it up. Nice, easy read.

  • Aletha Dunston
    2019-05-09 01:42

    Spoiler alert: I didn't like it. I'd give it 2.5 stars. I think it was slightly creepy to hear about a one-weekend stand through the eyes of a 13 year old son. I also hope 13 year olds are not as naive as the one in the book. He made so many wild assumptions and floated through the story like a whiny, useless lump. I liked the mother character, but am not convinced it isn't because I know Kate Winslet is playing the character in the movie and she's so good! I would have rather read a book from the mother's perspective that started with Labor Day weekend, then explored her life until his later parole.

  • Ashley Hill
    2019-04-23 05:01

    In the beginning I really wanted to dislike this book. I look at this mother and think how could you put your child in this situation. But somehow, through all the cracks and flaws in this novel a beautiful & heartfelt story emerged. This is one of those novels that you have to lay your judgment aside and just get swept away in the world of the narrator. That is really the only way you will enjoy this piece. It is sad, borders on mental instability, but at the root of it all is love.

  • Nely
    2019-05-12 08:56

    This book was so beautiful. I hope I can do it the justice it deserves in explaining how wonderful and how highly recommended this book comes from me.Henry is much more mature than your average 13 year old boy, but at the same time he is innocent and naive. Frank and Adele are both tortured souls, but it was inspiring to read about the relationship they forge in the six days most of the story takes place within. I really enjoyed the way these characters unraveled by slow increments giving you small glimpses into what shaped them into who they are today. Maynard's prose was beautiful - the simplicity of it was just perfect. She also does a fantastic job in capturing all the emotions that run amok through a 13 year old’s mind.There were moments that had me unexpectedly tightening my throat or the watering of my eyes. This is a coming-of-age story, a love story and a family drama all wrapped up into one beautifully wrapped package titled Labor Day. These are characters you won’t quickly forget, and this weekend that they spend together and the way it changes all of them, will change you just by having read it.