Tag Archives: Labor Day

Review & Book Tour: Labor Day

Labor Day Book Cover

Labor Day
By Joyce Maynard
Harper Perennial
August 2010
272 pp

The Short of It:

This is a story about love, loss and the struggle to find yourself. It’s proof that in this great big world, it is possible to find happiness and a place to call home.

The Rest of It:

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.

Joyce Maynard

To visit Joyce Maynard’s website, click here.

To view Maynard’s other TLC tour stops, click here.

Joyce Maynard will be on Blog Talk Radio with Book Club Girl on August 30th at 4pm (Pacific). For details, click here.

Source: A big ‘thank you’ to TLC Book Tours for asking me to be a part of this tour and to the publisher for providing me with a review copy of the book.