Labor Day

By Joyce Maynard
(William Morrow, Hardcover, 9780061843402, 256pp.)

Publication Date: August 2009

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback, Paperback, Paperback

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the August 2009 Indie Next List
“In Labor Day, Joyce Maynard has created three well-written and engaging characters, has put them in an extraordinary situation, and has delivered a wonderful book. I admit to being teary during the last few pages.”
-- Lisa Sharp, Nightbird Books, Fayetteville, AR
Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Winter 2011 Reading Group List
“Labor Day is a novel about seeing the good in someone when no one else can; how spending a few minutes sharing a talent with a child can affect his entire life and the person he ultimately becomes; about true love that, once found, can never be torn away no matter how strong the outside forces; about families and what the word really means; about believing that someone can be better than they think they are and having the same beliefs about yourself; and about hope, trust, and forgiveness. A natural for book group discussion!”
-- Cathy Allard, BayShore Books LLC, Oconto, WI


Description

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 Henry′s mother, Adele, on one of her rare forays out of the house and into the wider world has taken him to buy pants 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 life′s 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.




About the Author

Joyce Maynard has been a reporter for the New York Times, a magazine journalist, a radio commentator, and a syndicated columnist, as well as the author of six novels, including To Die For and Labor Day, and four books of nonfiction. Her bestselling memoir, At Home in the World, has been translated into eleven languages. Her previous novel, Labor Day, is being adapted for film by Academy Award-nominated director Jason Reitman. The mother of five children, she makes her home in Mill Valley, California.




Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. As reported by Henry, his mother Adele displays a number of behaviors that could be interpreted as crazy. How do you explain her son's steadiness and competence? Do you consider Adele to be a bad mother?




Praise For Labor Day

“an uplifting story told by a boy who is just beginning to understand what life is all about.”
-St. Petersburg Times

“[A] sweet, swift read that will leave you feeling good.”
-Minneapolis Star Tribune

“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.Gather.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.”
-www.MyDailyFind.com

“Maynard offers fresh insight into what constitutes family.”
-USA Today

“It is a testament to Maynard’s skill that she makes this ominous setup into a convincing and poignant coming-of-age tale.”
-Washington Post

“The novel is an extended meditation on the nature of love, grief and loneliness.... Maynard has created an ensemble of characters that will sneak into your heart, and warm it while it breaks. ”
-St. Petersburg Times

“Maynard has created an ensemble of characters that will sneak into your heart, and warm it while it breaks.”
-St. Petersburg Times

“surprisingly moving”
-Arizona Republic

“At once beautiful and disturbing, this remarkable novel…is a moving read.”
-BookPage.com on LABOR DAY

“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.”
-Booklist

“Maynard expertly tugs heartstrings in a tidy tale. ”
-Kirkus Reviews

“[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.”
-People (Four Stars)

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.”
-Newsday

“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. ”
-NPR.org

“beautifully written”
-New Orleans Times-Picayune

“a haunting and hopeful story”
-Hartford Courant

“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.”
-Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of My Sister's Keeper and Handle With Care

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

“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). ”
-Salt Lake City Tribune

“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.”
-Smart Money

“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.”
-BookPage

“Maynard...is in top form in this tale of love, betrayal and forgiveness.”
-Record Searchlight (Redding, CA)

“Maynard spins a fascinating story of damaged people seeking the one thing they long for – love. ”
-Wichita Falls, TX, Times Record News

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