Labor Day - Book Review

Awhile I ago I watched the movie Labor Day with Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin, be still my heart!  I was vaguely aware that the movie was based on a book, but never read the book.  I must say I loved the movie as much as I loved the book.  The book was so haunting, that it took me awhile to read, because I didn't want to rush it.  I wanted to cradle it and respect it like it deserved.

It felt good to hold a book in my hands, run my finger tips over the pages and think about who read the book before me.  Yes, I got it 2nd  hand.  Did they love the book as much as I did?  I sure hope so!

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.


Henry and his mom, Adele live on the fringe of town.  After Henry's dad left and life changed, Adele kind of went into herself.  Rarely if ever did they leave the house or have company.  One fateful summer day in September changed all that.  At the local Pricemart, a kindly stranger forced himself on the family.  He needed a ride, but it ends up as so much more.  Adele and Henry save Frank as much as Frank saves Henry and Adele.  It's not the best of situations to meet, but you make the most of a situation.  

This book is told by Henry, a teen on the cusp of puberty and the life before him.  He does everything he can for his mom, Adele to cheer her up.  But he soon realizes that the one thing he can't give her if the one thing that she needs the most.  Another adult.   When Frank comes along, it's a hidden blessing for Henry and Adele.  But they don't realize it.  

I fell in love with Frank. Yeah, he's a criminal, but he's also a human being and until you hear both sides you can't pass judgment.  Sometimes the past is just that, the past.   Let go of it, learn from it, and live in the present.