Labor Day
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Labor Day

3.7 147
by Joyce Maynard
     
 

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“Joyce Maynard is in top-notch form with Labor Day. Simply a novel you cannot miss.”

—Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of My Sister’s Keeper and Keeping Faith

“Maynard has created an ensemble of characters that will sneak into your heart, and warm it

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Overview

“Joyce Maynard is in top-notch form with Labor Day. Simply a novel you cannot miss.”

—Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of My Sister’s Keeper and Keeping Faith

“Maynard has created an ensemble of characters that will sneak into your heart, and warm it while it breaks.”

St. Petersburg Times

Joyce Maynard, acclaimed author of At Home in the World, is back with Labor Day. The  unforgettable story of a mother and son forever changed during a long summer weekend when a mysterious man comes into their lives. Labor Day is “a sexy, page turning, poignant story” (Jane Hamilton, author of A Map of the World) that “affirms Maynard’s reputation as a master storyteller and shows her to be a passionate humanist with a gifted ear and heart” (People)

Editorial Reviews

Caroline Preston
It is a testament to Maynard's skill that she makes this ominous setup into a convincing and poignant coming-of-age tale. As she has revealed in her memoirs and five previous novels, Maynard has had her own share of unsuitable attachments. She understands the deep yearnings that drive people to impulsive decisions and sometimes reckless behavior.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

In her sixth novel, Maynard (To Die For) tells the story of a long weekend and its repercussions through the eyes of a then 13-year-old boy, Henry, who lives with his divorced mother, Adele. On Labor Day weekend, Henry manages to coax his mother, who rarely goes out, into a trip to PriceMart, where they run into Frank, who intimidates them into giving him a ride. Frank, it turns out, is an escaped convict looking for a place to hide. He holds Adele and Henry hostage in their home, an experience that changes all of them forever, whether it's Frank tying Adele to the kitchen chair with her silk scarves and lovingly feeding her or teaching the awkward, unathletic Henry how to throw a baseball. The bizarre situation encompasses Henry's budding adolescence, the awakening of his sexuality and his fear of being abandoned by his mother and Frank, who are falling in love and planning to run away together. Maynard's prose is beautiful and her characters winningly complicated, with no neat tie-ups in the end. A sometimes painful tale, but captivating and surprisingly moving. (Aug.)

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Library Journal

The summer Henry turned 13, he had many questions about sex, "but it was clear my mother was not the person to discuss this with." A dancer, pretty like Ginger from Gilligan's Island, Adele had withdrawn from the world after her divorce from Henry's dad. Mother and son lead a lonely life together, subsisting on stacks of Cap'n Andy frozen fish dinners while Adele half-heartedly tries to sell vitamins by phone. Adele rarely leaves home, except when pressed to get Henry some last-minute back-to-school clothes. It's at Pricemart that the wounded pair meets Frank, a man with much to teach them about true love, baseball, and the best way to make a ripe peach pie. VERDICT There's a catch, of course—Frank's just escaped from prison, and there's a full-fledged manhunt underway. This coming-of-age story is gentle, unexpected, and simply told. An easy purchase. [The publisher is touting this as a change of pace from the author of To Die For; this was a pick at BookExpo 2009's Librarians' Book Shout and Share program.—Ed.]—Christine Perkins, Bellingham P.L., WA


—Christine Perkins
Kirkus Reviews
A pubescent boy learns about sorrow and regret during one blisteringly hot holiday weekend. Shifts of tone mark the progression of Maynard's latest (Internal Combustion, 2006, etc.). In an unlikely opening, 13-year-old Henry and his mother Adele agree to take home Frank, the bleeding man they meet while shopping at Pricemart. Frank turns out to be an escaped convict-a murderer in fact-yet he is unthreatening and domesticated, soon rustling up the best chili they have ever eaten. Adele, a romantic, has been left slightly unhinged and agoraphobic by her divorce; she and Frank quickly develop a sensual attraction observed by Henry, who is grappling with teenage angst over his sexuality. As the adults become lovers and Frank starts to teach Henry how to catch a baseball, the novel becomes a semi-comic exploration of what constitutes the ideal American family. But then Frank describes the circumstances of his conviction, an implausible chronicle of deception and coincidence that considerably darkens the novel's mood. Henry fears his mother is about to abandon him and shares his anxiety with his anorexic new girlfriend Eleanor, but he is wrong: The plan is for all three to flee to Canada, a plan that Eleanor will stymie. Narrated by the adult Henry 18 years later, the story shows how a boy digests, then uses the lessons learned that hot weekend. Redemption is eventually offered to all parties. Maynard expertly tugs heartstrings in a tidy tale.
Record Searchlight (Redding)
"Maynard...is in top form in this tale of love, betrayal and forgiveness."
Jodi Picoult
“Joyce Maynard is in top-notch form with Labor Day. From the perfect pitch of a teenaged boy narrator to the eloquent message of how loneliness can bind people together, this is simply a novel you cannot miss.”
Record Searchlight (Redding
“Maynard...is in top form in this tale of love, betrayal and forgiveness.”
Wichita Falls
“Maynard spins a fascinating story of damaged people seeking the one thing they long for – love. ”
(Four Stars) - People Magazine
"[The] story is moving and fast-moving, affirming Maynard’s reputation as a master storyteller and showing her to be a passionate humanist with a gifted ear and heart. . . . Maynard illuminates the human experience."
Record Searchlight (Redding))
"Maynard...is in top form in this tale of love, betrayal and forgiveness."
Booklist
“Maynard’s inventive coming-of-age tale indelibly captures the anxiety and confusion inherent in adolescence, while the addition of a menacing element of suspense makes this emotionally fraught journey that much more harrowing.”
Associated Press
“Maynard is in top form in this tale of love, betrayal, and forgiveness.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune
“[A] sweet, swift read that will leave you feeling good.”
New Orleans Times-Picayune
“beautifully written”
People (Four Stars)
“[The] story is moving and fast-moving, affirming Maynard’s reputation as a master storyteller and showing her to be a passionate humanist with a gifted ear and heart. . . . Maynard illuminates the human experience.”
Washington Post
“It is a testament to Maynard’s skill that she makes this ominous setup into a convincing and poignant coming-of-age tale.”
St. Petersburg Times
“an uplifting story told by a boy who is just beginning to understand what life is all about.”
Hartford Courant
“a haunting and hopeful story”
Salt Lake City Tribune
“Maynard gets inside the head of an adolescent boy who is grappling with his own identity and the mysteries of sex (while revealing the secrets of making perfect pie crust). ”
Gather.com
“Labor Day is a startling novel of love, friendship, trust, treachery, betrayal, and the deep lessons that we learn in life.... It’s a powerful, poignant mix in the hands of author Joyce Maynard and a novel no one should miss.”
MyDailyFind.com
“Labor Day is both a coming-of-age story and a love story- a tale of profound loss, redemption and soul searching that is not to be missed.”
BookPage
“Maynard deftly pulls the reader into the fragile lives of these three vulnerable characters and their preordained march toward the novel’s denouement. A marvelous read-perfect for one long sitting-this novel leaves the reader wishing it didn’t ever have to end.”
NPR.org
“But apart from being a successful thriller, this book is a fascinating portrait of what causes a family to founder, and how much it can cost to put it back on the right path. ”
Smart Money
“Maynard details Henry’s roller-coaster emotions for Frank – he is both jealous and grateful – and his mother’s emotional journeys – with skill and tenderness for the uncertain willingness of broken hearts to mend. The poignant results are revealing of our ability to forgive and to grow.”
Newsday
Labor Day is suffused with tenderness, dreaminess and love....first and foremost a page-turner...[it] puts back together the world that it destroys....you definitely need to get a box of tissues.”
Arizona Republic
“surprisingly moving”
USA Today
“Maynard offers fresh insight into what constitutes family.”
Associated Press Staff
“Maynard is in top form in this tale of love, betrayal, and forgiveness.”
BookPage.com on LABOR DAY
“At once beautiful and disturbing, this remarkable novel…is a moving read.”
People
“[The] story is moving and fast-moving, affirming Maynard’s reputation as a master storyteller and showing her to be a passionate humanist with a gifted ear and heart. . . . Maynard illuminates the human experience.”
www.Gather.com
“Labor Day is a startling novel of love, friendship, trust, treachery, betrayal, and the deep lessons that we learn in life.... It’s a powerful, poignant mix in the hands of author Joyce Maynard and a novel no one should miss.”
www.MyDailyFind.com
“Labor Day is both a coming-of-age story and a love story- a tale of profound loss, redemption and soul searching that is not to be missed.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061843419
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
08/03/2010
Series:
P.S. Series
Pages:
241
Sales rank:
218,852
Product dimensions:
8.22(w) x 11.28(h) x 0.67(d)

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What People are saying about this

Wichita Falls
“Maynard spins a fascinating story of damaged people seeking the one thing they long forlove. ”
Jodi Picoult
“Joyce Maynard is in top-notch form with Labor Day. From the perfect pitch of a teenaged boy narrator to the eloquent message of how loneliness can bind people together, this is simply a novel you cannot miss.”

Meet the Author

Joyce Maynard is the author of eight previous novels, including To Die For, Labor Day, The Good Daughters, and four books of nonfiction. Her bestselling memoir, At Home in the World, has been translated into sixteen languages. She lives in California.

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