by Joyce Maynard
Overview (from B&N.com): As the end of summer approaches and a long, hot Labor Day weekend looms, the life of lonely thirteen-year-old Henry Wheeler is irrevocably changed when he and his emotionally fragile mother show kindness to a stranger with a terrible secret. Now a major motion picture starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin, Labor Day is a poignant story of love, sex, adolescence, and devastating treachery.
My Thoughts: Have you ever done a double take? The answer is probably yes. Labor Day was what I like to refer to as a reading double take. Meaning, I would read something. Stop. And my response was usually, “Wtf? Did I read that correctly?”
I’m going to be very honest here. I don’t really know what to make of Labor Day. I waited a few days to write the review in the hopes that I’d be able to nail down my exacts thoughts, but I’m still stumped. This is a rare occurrence for me and I don’t like it. Anyway, on to the review.
The writing was good. The perspective was odd and unexpected. The entire story is told from Henry’s point of view and he’s 13 years old when the book starts. I thought that was a strange choice given the subject matter (love, sex and treachery), but it did make Labor Day stand out in my mind.
The characters were fairly unique. I liked Henry, but he was way more obsessed with sex than what I thought was normal. I did not like his mom, Adele. I thought she could’ve and should’ve been much stronger for her son and a better example. When you look at it from a black or white perspective (which a lot of people do when kids are involved), then she never should have allowed an escaped convict into her house. She definitely should not have made it seem like what was going on was okay(aka harboring a fugitive).
When it comes down to it, I liked Labor Day. I just couldn’t get over how strange it was. It’s definitely not a normal, run of the mill storyline. It is without a doubt a coming of age story that mainly focus on the sexual aspects of growing up. So the big question, would I recommend it? Alas, I would not recommend Labor Day (except maybe on a case-by-case basis).
3 out of 5 Bookmarks = I liked it, but it never would’ve occurred to me that it could or would be made into a movie.