Saturday, September 26, 2009

Book Review: Labor Day by Joyce Maynard

Henry recalls the Labor Day weekend in 1987 when he was 13 and escaped convict Frank stayed for awhile at his house with him and his agoraphobic mother Adele.

Though Frank is considered dangerous by the authorities and the general public, Henry sees him differently:

“The feeling I had, when I thought of Frank, contained no fear. More like anticipation and excitement. It was if I’d been in the middle of a book that I had put down when I got too tired to keep reading, or a video put on pause. I wanted to pick back up with the story and find out what happened to the characters, except that the characters were us.” (p 50 ARC, may vary from final published version)

Overall this is a moving story about the experiences and people that have a part in shaping your identity. Although Henry was certainly a capable narrator, he was rather detached from the emotional core of the story – the tender relationship that develops between the two broken adults. I would have loved to get inside Adele’s head and see at least some of the story from her point of view.

This gem of a novel is out in hardcover now. Find out more about it at the author’s website.

12 comments:

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I love Maynard's books, and was so delighted that she had another one out—since it had been awhile—and this tale fed my obsession.

Like you, though, I would have loved to see inside Adele's head for a bit, although I hadn't thought about that until you mentioned it in your review.

I did a review of this on my EXPLORATIONS blog: http://laurelrainsnow.wordpress.com/

Michelle said...

I just bought this one the other day. Can't wait to start it. :)

reviewsbylola said...

I have this on its way to me right now and I can't wait. I love Joyce Maynard!

Staci said...

I'm glad that you enjoyed this one too!

Lenore said...

Hi Laurel and Lola - This was my first Maynard book, but not my last :)

Michelle - Hope you enjoy it!

Lenore said...

Staci - It was your review that made me fast track this one :)

Joanne said...

This sounds terrific, and I really liked the feel of the passage you included.

H said...

This sounds different, but good. I love the cover!

celi.a said...

I think I'd like this. Thanks for the mention...checking it out now (and adding to the sea that is my TBR pile...). :)

Beth F said...

I have this one here and I'm hoping to read it sooner than later. I like Maynard.

writemeg said...

I have this one in my TBR stack and can't wait to read it! Something about the synopsis just really grabbed me. Hope I like it, too!

Sadako said...

Awesome review as always, Lenore!

I just learned about Joyce Maynard and her whole relationship with Salinger, so now I'm excited to read one of her books.