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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Labor Day

Labor Day is usually about time spent together as a family. Having barbeques, swimming and enjoying the last day of summer before school begins. At least that is how it is for most families, but not Henry Wheeler and his mom. Their week would be forever changed by arriving at Pricemart to get some school shopping in before Henry heads back to school. Henry is approached by a man in a Pricemart uniform who tells him that he is hurt and needs a ride. Henry notices he is bleeding from both his leg and his head and when he asks what has happened, the man named Vinnie according to his name tag, tells him that he had to jump out of a window and is now in need of medical attention. Henry finds his mom to ask for help.

His mom Adele just wants to finish up shopping and head back home. Since the divorce from Henry's father, she has found solace in simply being alone as much as possible and Henry is her only outlet. However since he needs pants and underware for school, she needed to drive him to Pricemart. She manages to find a few other things they need as well such as light bulbs since they are down to only one working one in the house. At least once she finishes with this trip, she won't have to go out again for quite some time. When Henry approaches with the strange man named Vinnie who asks for her help, Adele is drawn to help him like she would an injured animal or a hurt child. Asking no questions, she pays for the items and they take Vinnie home.

When they arrive at the house, Vinnie tells her about who he really is Frank, an escaped convict from the state penitentiary, who jumped out a window at the hospital when he was getting his appendix out just 18 months from filling his prison sentence. He manages to convince both Henry and Adele that he poses no threat to their safety if they will only allow him to stay til his leg is well enough. He won't jeopardize either of them for his own gain. Surprisingly Adele and Henry agree and soon Frank is filling in helping them around the house. But like all great stories, this one has a dark twist. Written from author Joyce Maynard this is a two part story of a coming of age for Henry and finding trust and love again for Adele. Both of them are searching in desperation for what they believe they need and Frank seems to fit the bill.

Labor Day by Joyce Maynard is now coming to the big screen and after watching the trailer, I knew I had to read this novel to see what it was all about. Joyce shares with readers at the conclusion of the novel why she decided to write this novel against what most people would argue would be a foolish idea to invite a man neither of them know to come to their home especially with a 13-year old boy at home. I absolutely LOVE her reasoning and find myself relating to Adele more than I thought. I could see where she was struggling with her life and the choices it offered her even when she didn't have a say so in any of them. Now I can't wait for the movie due out in 2014.

I received Labor Day by Joyce Maynard compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation and the opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own. This novel does focus quite a bit on the adolescence and sex pertaining to Henry as well as his mom and thus some readers might find the reference to these subjects as offensive. With that being included in this novel I find the rating of 4 out of 5 reasonable based on my own rating criteria. This is not the novel for all readers but for those that love Joyce Maynard's writing style this one is a must read.

For more information about Labor Day, Joyce Maynard or where to pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Joyce Maynard on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Labor Day, please visit William Morrow's website. 

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Mti edition (December 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062313630
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062313638
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches

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