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Extended Audio Sample Labor Day, by Joyce Maynard Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,844 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joyce Maynard Narrator: Wilson Bethe Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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 the soft skin and budding bodies of 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.

In a manner evoking Ian McEwan's Atonement and Nick Hornby's About a Boy, 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Joyce Maynard is in top-notch form with Labor Day. 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.”

    Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author 

  • “It is a testament to Maynard’s skill that she makes this ominous setup into a convincing and poignant coming-of-age tale.”

    Washington Post

  • “Maynard offers fresh insight into what constitutes family.”

    USA Today

  • “[The] story is moving and fast-moving, affirming Maynard’s reputation as a master storyteller and showing her to be a passionate humanist with a gifted ear and heart…Maynard illuminates the human experience.”


  • “Maynard’s inventive coming-of-age tale indelibly captures the anxiety and confusion inherent in adolescence, while the addition of a menacing element of suspense makes this emotionally fraught journey that much more harrowing.”


  • “Maynard expertly tugs heartstrings in a tidy tale.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Maynard gets inside the head of an adolescent boy who is grappling with his own identity and the mysteries of sex (while revealing the secrets of making perfect pie crust).”

    Salt Lake City Tribune

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Selected for the August 2009 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jean | 2/15/2014

    " really compelling and disturbing book. i felt uncomfortable at first while reading, then could not put it down. i ended up really liking it "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Tenna | 2/12/2014

    " Just couldn't get into this book...I gave up after about 30 pages which is really unusual for me. Oh well, on to the next! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jean Brown | 2/9/2014

    " I loved this book...despite having a child narrator which I don't usually like..it was a quick and easy read..but had a lot to say all the same...I'd saved it to read this weekend (Labor Day:) .... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Joan | 1/30/2014

    " Loved this book! Joyce Maynard is a master of character development. This is a book that will capture your attention immediately. I got sad at the end, not because of the storyline, but because the book was ending... "

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