Labor Day

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 while 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)

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Editorial Reviews

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."
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.”
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.”
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). ”
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.
Associated Press
“Maynard is in top form in this tale of love, betrayal, and forgiveness.”
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.”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061893926
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
07/28/2009
Edition description:
Large Print
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(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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Labor Day 3.7 out of 5 based on 3 ratings. 147 reviews.
SharonChance More than 1 year ago
Labor Day weekend, for most, is a time for celebration, a last fling before the seriousness of school and fall set in. In Joyce Maynard's new novel, "Labor Day," the holiday weekend is not quite a party for one family in a small New Hampshire town. It will be a time of life-altering occurrences that would shape their futures forever. Thirteen year old Henry and his mother, Adele, are shopping for school items when they are approached by a bleeding man asking for their help. So they take him home, to find out later that the man, Frank, is an escaped convict on the run. He somehow cajoles Adele into letting him stay while the police search for him, and she agrees. This would be the beginning of a six-day odyssey for Henry and his mother that neither of them could ever have imagined. As the story unfolds, through Henry's voice, the reader is taken through Henry's family history of a bitter divorce, miscarried babies, remarriage and new siblings and his mother's gradual loss of her grip on reality. It seems as if Frank is somewhat of a savior come to turn their lives around. He gives Henry the attention that he craves from a father-figure, and to Adele he gives companionship and adoration that she has been without for so long. In a mesmerizing way, Frank weaves his way into their lives, making beautiful promises that he could never keep. When Henry begins to realize that this idyllic situation is doomed, it's up to him, as man of the house, to save his mother from certain heartbreak, if not incarceration. Maynard spins a fascinating story of damaged people seeking the one thing they long for - love. It's intriguing to watch these characters go through their paces, all the time wanting to yell at them "don't you know what's going on here?" and "how could you be so stupid?" But wrapping her tale up with a satisfying ending, the reader can take away a sense of completion for Henry's family and that is a gift in itself. - Sharon Galligar Chance (http://sharonsgardenofbookreviews.blogspot.com)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this book down! The depth of the characters are great! The story is so sad, yet very touching....I couldn't stop the tears! I really liked the ending! This author is a great writer! Don't miss this one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
STORY WAS VERY TOUCHING AND KEPT ME WANTING MORE. THE STORY STAYED WITH ME A FEW DAYS AFTER I FINISHED THE BOOK.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Maynard's characters were so real, i could picture them with ease.  Labor day is funny, warm, awakening emotions through the vivid characters.  The author's passions are, indeed, most evident in this wonderful story. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why do these people write a review tellingbthe WHOLE story??????? Do they not realize it ruins it for us who havent read it yet? These people should not be allowed to write more than like 100word review!! I am now very disappointed! Thanks again you know who you are you ruin every singke book that you read by writing the whole story in ur review! Well B&N u can thank her for me once again not purchasing ANOTHER book from me!!!!!!! :(
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It took me about 100 pages to get into the book. But even after that, there was still something missing. As a reader, i want a book that as i read it i put myself in a characters situation and i couldn't in this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
GREAT BOOK HARD TO PUT DOWN SOLID CHARACTERS, LOVE IT.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is about a mother and her son who let an escaped fugitive into their home for the Labor Day weekend. The mother and son have very few friends. The book centers on how the characters interact with each other while trying to stay as low key as possible. This is a good book about love and forgiveness and well worth reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
And here comes harriet klausner with her cliff note book report ruining another book. Please bn, ban this poster and delete all her plot spoiling posts. They totally ruin every book she touches.
PVDPD More than 1 year ago
Bought it after I saw a screening of the film. I liked it better. All written in the first person voice of the young boy at the heart of the story, it's an exposition on how love can come even to those that are broken and damaged.
DanielleWI More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It was great read and held my attention from start to finish. Could barely put it down!
bookwormmamaNE More than 1 year ago
This is my first read by this author and thought it was a strong writing style and well developed characters I just really struggled with the story I think. It was hard for me to believe from the beginning and found myself disappointed I guess throughout most of it. The flow is a little weak for me at the end when such a short time of the story is drug on through so many chapters and then BAM we fly through adulthood. I would have rather had a little more leading up to his adult life or nothing at all and ended in his youth, just made it feel too rushed at the end. Hard book for me enjoy, Sorry!
TiBookChatter More than 1 year ago
Henry is thirteen-years-old and a bit of a recluse. As the other boys in the neighborhood spend their time outside, Henry spends his time indoors, watching TV and taking care of his divorced mother, Adele. Their meals consist of canned soup and quiet conversation. This is a typical day for them. However, during one, long, hot Labor Day weekend, they head to the local Pricemart to pick up a few items. This, in itself, is rare as Adele does not enjoy being outside anymore. She'd rather stay in the comfort of her home but on this particular morning, she decides to enter the store with Henry. While she is shopping, Henry is confronted by a man named Frank. The man, obviously injured, is in pain and simply asks if Henry and his mom can help him. Although Adele has her issues, she has been known to help those in need in the past, so Henry takes Frank to his mom, and their lives change forever. Frank has a story of course. A sketchy past involving a mistake he made when he was younger, but through Frank's actions, Adele sees a man who is solid and true. A man who cares deeply for those close to him, and when he manages to bring happiness into their home, happiness that hasn't existed for years, Henry becomes fond of him too. Labor Day is a wonderful read. The characters are forced to look within themselves and the interactions between them are so beautifully orchestrated. I say orchestrated because their interactions are seamless and subtle but speak volumes as far as what's going on within these people. It takes an author's delicate hand to push that envelope. Pushing it too much creates a "staged" feel and not pushing it enough creates hollow characters without substance. Labor Day is my favorite type of book. It's the kind of book that you read, experience and then once done, think about for days on end. I highly recommend it.
me2nc More than 1 year ago
This book was really interesting to me and I enjoyed how Joyce Maynard wrote so vividly that I could picture characters and scenes as I read the book. I saw the movie trailer and knew I wanted to read the book first and I'm glad I did. Although the movie was decent, it did not do the book justice. My husband actually watched with me and a few times I had to tell him bits and pieces of the book itself to fill him in on little details that were missing. The book was amazing and I highly recommend it if you just want a good read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the ending. Didnt want it to end. I will ck out other books by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Probably one of the best books I have ever read, I really connected to this story. At first the lack of quotation marks bothered me (yes, I am that weird), but the style was effortless and completely engaging. I almost don't want to see the movie for fear of falling out of love with this story...!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I simply could not put this book down! I found this story to be engaging and touching from the first to the last page. The ending is so well constructed as this now 31 year old man looks back on his 13 year old self. You're right there with him as he makes sense of it all.....definitely a tear jerker at the end! Loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book engaging and easy to read. Its nice to read a good ole story.
lhutch More than 1 year ago
This story is about a woman, with her young son, who meets a man in a store and because he needs help, takes him to their home she shares with her son. This is the only unrealistic issue with this book. Her doing this is a contradiction to her carefully raising her son to protect him from some of society's evils. If you can get past this point, it's a lovely story. The mom, boy and man all basically fall in love. As the story twists and turns, you begin to see that this may not work out for any of them, but hang in there and the ending will surprise and delight you. The story is well written and quickly creates empathy for the characters involved. It moves at just the right pace, and I plan on reading other novels by this author. Hope you enjoy it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The summary of the story makes it seem interesting and exciting. That is the exact opposite. It was hard to read and over did the refs to puberty.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
many reviews this is a suspense with strong sexual hostage situation perverse bondage/ food /silk /scarfs and early teen the reviews keep saying this is a comiing of age to makee it seem what it isnt it is the usual mystery/suspense/rescue with suggestive fillers padding the story of reclusive single mother with 12/13 old son. Best seller ny times means very little fir those whi never read these sub genres
Anonymous More than 1 year ago