I have not seen the movie yet of Labor Day by Joyce Maynard, but I've seen enough movie trailers that I could read the book with the visuals of Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet in my head. About at the half way point if asked, I would have rated the book 4 stars. But somewhere in that last half when everything was happening, my heart was lost. 5 huge and well deserved stars is the rating I am giving this book.
Henry is thirteen years old. He lives with his somewhat dysfunctional mother, Adele. Adele has several issues and at first, I was trying to come up with a proper diagnosis. But as I progressed through the book, it became obvious that her only true diagnosis was a broken heart.
"She felt everything so deeply, it was like the world was too much for her."
During one of Henry and Adele's rare trips to the store, Henry is approached by Frank who has escaped from prison. He is hurt and they take him home with them. During the six days he spent there, all of their lives were changed forever. We learn Frank's story and you can't help but fall in love with him. We learn Adele's past, and the pain she has endured. These two people that have mostly only known loneliness find hope and love through each other.
"If I'd never jumped out that window, I never would have found you."
The story is told from Henry's point of view as an adult remembering back to that time. A time when he was struggling with sexual awareness, living a somewhat lonely and awkward existence with his mother, and struggling with his relationship with his own father. Those six days had a profound impact on Henry and molded the rest of his life.
I can honestly say that these three will not be forgotten anytime soon. They have etched themselves into my heart and there they will stay.