Title: Labor Day
Author: Joyce Maynard
Genre: Adult Fiction - Contemporary (Coming-Of-Age)
Release Date: January 16th, 2014Other Books by Author: The Good Daughters, Where Love Goes
Published by: HarperCollins 360
But all that changes on the Thursday before Labor Day, when a mysterious bleeding man named Frank approaches Henry and asks for a hand. Over the next five days, Henry will learn some of life's most valuable lessons: how to throw a baseball, the secret to perfect piecrust, the breathless pain of jealousy, the power of betrayal, and the importance of putting others—especially those we love—above ourselves. And the knowledge that real love is worth waiting for.
In a manner evoking Ian McEwan's Atonement and Nick Hornby's About a Boy, acclaimed author Joyce Maynard weaves a beautiful, poignant tale of love, sex, adolescence, and devastating treachery as seen through the eyes of a young teenage boy—and the man he later becomes—looking back at an unexpected encounter that begins one single long, hot, life-altering weekend.
I had heard so many great things about Joyce Maynard's novels, through bloggers and friends on Goodreads, but had never read anything from her until now. I also heard about it on Twitter, about the film adaptation; and there's nothing better than seeing a novel portrayed on the big screen. So I was very excited to get started reading!
The first thing I knew when I started reading Labor Day was that it was a story that, not only did the plot grow slowly and strikingly intriguing as the story progressed, but that it was far more than some story about a 13 year old boy and his mother. It was a powerful and touching coming-of-age novel with unexpected turns of events and discoveries. It was a simply life-altering way of looking at things, and at looking at each other.
Things don't go as they should. In fact, throughout the novel as the three spend more time together and start to change each other, I started to see them in a different way as I first perceived them, which roped me in just that little bit more.
The plot was unpredictable, complex and at times when the actions of the characters would've seemed foolish, it felt more insightful instead. The way Frank is with Henry is particularly interesting because of the way he introduces him to the ways of life, love and the real world. I felt that Henry learnt a lot from Frank's own youth, too. He also changes Adele, who even when she was isolated, he brought out a spark in her that must have felt like a breath of fresh air to her. I think it was because secrets were a big subject in the plot, and it felt like similar ground for the both of them.
Have you read Labor Day?
What did you think?
Tell me in the comments or at @LittleMemoirs on twitter!