Sunday, 26 January 2014

Books Read: Joyce Maynard - Labor Day

The dog days of August... All summer long, thirteen-year-old Henry kept hoping that something different would happen, but it never did. Then, just as the Labor Day weekend gets under way, in the Pricemart where Henrys mother, Adele, on one of her rare forays out of the house and into the wider world has taken him to buy trousers for school, a bleeding man approaches Henry and asks for help. Frank is a man with a secret, and a man on the run. Adele is a wounded soul whose dreams of family life and romantic dancing died years ago, even before her husband left her and their son. And Henry is a loser and a loner, a boy on the cusp of manhood who, over the next five days, will learn some of lifes most valuable lessons: how to throw a baseball, the secret to perfect peach pie, and the importance of placing others especially those you love above yourself.

Amazon links: Paperback

I'd never heard of Joyce Maynard before so when a copy of Labor Day arrived from Helena at Harper Collins I really didn't know what to expect.

Labor Day is told from the point of view of 13 year old Henry, who lives with his mum Adele in Holton Mills, New Hampshire, and how his life changes when he and Adele come into contact with a mysterious stranger Frank in a local grocery store.  It's clear that Frank is in need of medical attention but what is his story and how will their encounter with him change their lives?

This was an interesting tale of how a young naive boy has to adapt to the change in circumstances in his life, one minute he is having to be the adult of the household and shoulder more responsibility than a child his age should then the next he's having to cope with letting someone else take on this role.  He's also dealing with conflicted emotions, craving the attention of a male role model but also having to cope with the jealousy that creeps in when it's clear that something is going on between Frank and Adele, as well as dealing with his own first experience of infatuation with a girl. 

Set over the Labor Day weekend one thing's for sure their lives will never be the same again... 

It's easy to see why this book appealed to film directors so will be interesting to see how well it adapts when the movie is released at the end of the month. 

1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed your review Sharon. I have Labor Day on my tbr - looking forward to reading now!