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 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.
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.
When I first heard about Labor Day, I knew I had to read it immediately and my interest was only further piqued when I read this essay by Joyce Maynard on bn.com -- guess what one of her favorite childhood books was? Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown! See, Betsy-Tacy fans ARE everywhere. But I digress...Here is what Jodi Picoult has to say about Labor Day: "Joyce Maynard is in top-notch form....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."
Watch Maynard talking about the writing of Labor Day below.
As you can see, there is much for book groups to discuss in Labor Day. And I have 10 copies of it to give away! What a perfect end-of-summer read. Enter to win by commenting on what books you've read or plan to read this summer. I'll choose 10 people randomly from all entries received by midnight Wednesday, August 5th (US and Canada only please).
And be sure to tune in and listen to Maynard about the novel on Authors on Air on Wednesday August 5th at 3 pm EST and look for her on tour near you.