Sunday, November 22, 2009

Labor Day

Joyce Maynard's Labor Day is a book that I have seen reviewed in a variety of places. After reading the reviews I remained mildy intrigued, but wasn't entirely sold. I was happily surprised by this book and by Maynard's work.

Henry is thirteen years old, growing up in New Hampshire with his single mother. His father is remarried and has a baby with his new wife as well as a step son Henry's age. Henry's mother is fragile - unable to go out of the house on her own. Henry runs many of his mother's errands and the two of them remain isolated from others. When they venture out over Labor Day weekend to buy Henry some school supplies, Henry meets a man at the store who needs their help and asks for a ride from them. What follows is a bizarre weekend where Henry and his mother harbor a fugitive- Frank, who escaped from prison after an appendectomy. Suddenly Henry's mother is alive again, laughing eyes twinkling and life seems normal.

The idea of this occurring may seem a bit implausible, but Maynard made this story work and I never felt as though I needed to question events in this story, or the author's voice.

Writing more of a summary of this story would only give the ending away and Labor Day is worth reading yourself to find out the ending.

Visit Joyce Maynard's website here.

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