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Labour Day by Joyce Maynard (final thoughts)

January 23, 2010

Life for 13-year old Henry has been pretty uneventful. Other than awkward Saturday night outings with his dad and his new family, he spends his time at home keeping his hermit mother, Adele, company and daydreaming about girls. However, a chance encounter with Frank, an escaped convict, over Labour Day weekend changes all of this.

Labour Day is the first book by Joyce Maynard I’ve read, and she is definitely an expert storyteller. The events of that Labour Day weekend are told by Henry, who goes off on tangents now and then, retelling stories of his and Adele’s lives before Frank came along. Over the weekend we also learn about Frank’s past through Henry.

The back stories of both Adele and Frank tugged on my heartstrings. Life had not turned out they way either of them had planned. Instead of a happily-ever-after, they were both trapped by the consequences of their own and others’ mistakes. And then there’s Henry, a spectator to Adele and Frank’s story while also trying to figure his own out. Like I said, Maynard knows what’s she’s doing when it comes to storytelling. This was a book I got lost in and made me all teary-eyed.

Although I did really enjoy this book, Frank creeped me out longer that he was probably supposed to. I get that he was supposed be the misunderstood convict, but for a large chunck of the book he seemed insincere and, well, creepy.

My rating: 8/10

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. January 23, 2010 3:44 pm

    This one sounds interesting.

  2. January 23, 2010 9:07 pm

    This read surprised me too. Henry was such believable character that somewhere along the way I lost track of the fiction and was tricked into believing he was real.

  3. stacybuckeye permalink
    January 24, 2010 4:03 pm

    I’ve heard such great things about this one. Glad you liked it. I’ll have to keep that creepy Frank on alert ;)

  4. January 24, 2010 8:26 pm

    haven’t heard of this one, but you make a good case for it! as for the convict, i was leery as i read your review but am relieved that he doesn’t seem to mean henry any harm. i was imagining a completely different turn of events.

  5. January 24, 2010 8:40 pm

    I haven’t heard of this one before. I love it when you can get lost in a book like that..I’m going to have to remember this one!

  6. January 24, 2010 8:51 pm

    Agree with you that Joyce is a great storyteller, so will keep an eye out for this one at my library. Enjoyed your review! Thanks!

  7. January 26, 2010 10:12 am

    I really liked this book. I cried several times while reading it. Great review.


  1. Wrapping up January 2010 « alita.reads.

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