Synopses & Reviews
With the end of summer closing in and a steamy Labor Day weekend looming in the town of Holton Mills, New Hampshire, thirteen-year-old Henry—lonely, friendless, not too good at sports—spends most of his time watching television, reading, and daydreaming about the soft skin and budding bodies of his female classmates. For company Henry has his long-divorced mother, Adele—a onetime dancer whose summer project was to teach him how to foxtrot; his hamster, Joe; and awkward Saturday-night outings to Friendly's with his estranged father and new stepfamily. As much as he tries, Henry knows that even with his jokes and his "Husband for a Day" coupon, he still can't make his emotionally fragile mother happy. Adele has a secret that makes it hard for her to leave their house, and seems to possess an irreparably broken heart.
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.
“Joyce Maynard is in top-notch form with Labor Day
. Simply a novel you cannot miss.”
—Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of My Sisters Keeper and Keeping Faith
“Maynard has created an ensemble of characters that will sneak into your heart, and warm it while it breaks.”
—St. Petersburg Times
Joyce Maynard, acclaimed author of At Home in the World, is back with Labor Day. The unforgettable story of a mother and son forever changed during a long summer weekend when a mysterious man comes into their lives. Labor Day is “a sexy, page turning, poignant story” (Jane Hamilton, author of A Map of the World) that “affirms Maynards reputation as a master storyteller and shows her to be a passionate humanist with a gifted ear and heart” (People)
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 Forand 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.