Spectacular. If I had to describe “Labor Day” in one word, that would be it. I’ve come to love the innocence of young narrators of adult fiction, and the voice of Henry in “Labor Day” was no exception. Right before Labor Day weekend, Henry was shopping for back to school clothes when he was approached by Frank. Bleeding and shoplifting, Frank asked if Henry’s mother, Adele, would take Frank to their home to hide out. Adele agrees for a plethora of reasons that became clear as the story progressed.
The main reason this story worked was that Frank was a decent character. He helped around the house to repay Adele for hiding him, and was genuinely interested in helping Henry overcome obstacles he faced like mastering baseball. I was surprised how easily I accepted the way the motley crew became a family. I rooted for their happiness even though I knew that it was unlikely given the man hunt occurring just outside the house. Although I hate books without quotation marks, the writing here had a seamless flow to it and I actually didn’t mind. I hope the movie will be able to capture Henry’s quirky and loveable thoughts because those made the book the masterpiece it is. The ending was so beautiful and tragic, that the journey to it was worth the read. It seems almost impossible how easily Maynard examined love in a variety of all forms without loosing focus on the main plot.
This book was one of the better books I read this year and I can’t recommend it enough! Happy Valentine’s Day!