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Monday, January 13, 2014

Labor Day by Joyce Maynard Is a Movie

Joyce Maynard's novel, Labor Day, is now a movie starring Kate Winslet (nominated for a Golden Globe award for her performance) and Josh Brolin, scheduled to open wide on January 31st.

My book club was lucky enough to be chosen by William Morrow publishers to receive copies of the book and movie passes to see Labor Day, and we are all excited to be a part of this promotion. Our book club likes to do road trips, as we have discussed books at the beach and the Botanical Gardens, so this continues our tradition.

I read the book in just a few hours yesterday and it really touched me. As I was reading, I could picture Winslet and Brolin in their roles, but the key will be the actor who plays young Henry, the thirteen-year-old boy who narrates the story of an escaped convict who hides out with him and his withdrawn, lonely mother.

After the cold weather we have had, it was good to read a book set on a hot Labor Day weekend in New Hampshire. The story in the mid-1980s, and Adele is a divorced mom who lives with her teenage son in a home set away from their neighbors. Adele rarely leaves the house, and works sporadically selling vitamins over the phone.

Henry loves him mom, and has few friends of his own. They really only have each other, except when Henry goes to dinner each Saturday with his father, his father's new wife, her teen son and their new baby, which he doesn't really enjoy.

When Frank approaches Henry at the local Pricemart store and asks for his help, his mother readily agrees, though Henry isn't sure why. They bring Frank home and Frank proceeds to insinuate himself into their lives. Does he really have feelings for Adele or is he manipulating them?

Frank fixes up the place and cooks for them. He makes eggs and homemade biscuits for breakfast and a delicious chili for dinner. And when a neighbor brings over some fresh peaches, he shows Adele and Frank how to make his grandma's peach pie, with her secret ingredient, Minute tapioca to soak up the fruit juices. (I'm definitely trying that next time!)

Reading about all this delicious food, there are many opportunities for a great book club discussion with  food. I only wish it was summer so we could have fresh peaches, but I'm thinking a nice crock pot full of chili and this Sparkling White Peach Sangria from The 10-Minute Happy Hour website is the perfect accompaniment.

I will post our thoughts on the film after we see it, but until then, here is the official movie trailer.

A full review of Mayard's Labor Day will also be posted after our discussion. You read more about the book here.


  1. My book club is meeting to discuss this book on Sunday and I can't wait!

  2. I saw the movie the other night (thanks also to William Morrow) and it is good - the boy that plays Henry is excellent. I would be interested in reading the book to see how closely the movie aligns to it. Enjoy it with your bookclub!