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Labor Day Audiobook

Labor Day

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Audible Editor Reviews

Narrator Wilson Bethel's voice evokes the tension of a young man standing on the precipice of becoming a man. Bethel uses an adolescent voice to describe Henry's longings for love and his adolescent wonderings about life. Bethel shines in portraying Henry's relationship with his mother, giving their interplay the realistic back-and-forth style that many mothers and sons share. As Adele's sad secret is finally revealed, Bethel's delivery turns melancholy. Listeners will appreciate how Bethel's narration infuses the dramatic story of a life-altering time in Henry's life with strength and empathy.

Publisher's Summary

With the end of summer closing in and a steamy Labor Day weekend looming in the town of Holton Mills, New Hampshire, 13-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.

©2009 Joyce Maynard; (P)1997 HarperCollins Publishers

What the Critics Say

"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." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (334 )
5 star
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3.9 (274 )
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4.2 (273 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Amie J. Woeber Washington, DC 04-19-14
    Amie J. Woeber Washington, DC 04-19-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A little creepy"

    It's not that this was a bad story, I just didn't like the way it was told. It found it creepy hearing the love scenes between Adele and Frank through the eyes (and ears) of their tween son, and the images of the mother telling the things that she did (which were completely inappropriate) to her son made me uncomfortable. Perhaps that was the intent of the writer. If so, well done. But I wouldn't recommend this book to someone, and I am not anxious to see the movie, like I usually am after a good book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Oneal California 11-25-13
    C. Oneal California 11-25-13 Member Since 2012

    I'm addicted to Audible. A new grandma I am responsible for my grandsons library, which reignited my interest in books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good story but anti clamatic"
    Would you try another book from Joyce Maynard and/or Wilson Bethel?

    I've read a couple of Joyce's books. They're like a peanut butter sandwich. Tastes good when you're in between new things to try. A staple. Good writing but missing something to make it great!


    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    srich1017 10-16-14
    srich1017 10-16-14 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "It was....meh."
    What did you like best about Labor Day? What did you like least?

    The performance was fairly well done -- crisp audio with decent acting. It was a short audiobook, but I didn't find the story all that engaging. It seemed to go very quick with just a couple of historical subplots that wrapped up very quickly and all too neatly. I would've liked to hear much more depth in both the characters and plot.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justin NEW PORT RICHEY, FLORIDA, United States 01-25-14
    Justin NEW PORT RICHEY, FLORIDA, United States 01-25-14 Member Since 2016

    Its a fascinating tale that would begin on may 5th, 1989 in Mease Dunedin hospital and from there the legacy grew. I am adult now.

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    "Seemed like a hell of a holiday."
    Where does Labor Day rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's probably up there. A bit drawn out sometimes.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It was entertaining. Talk of could have been toned down a little.


    Have you listened to any of Wilson Bethel’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No he's a unique storyteller.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not really it took time to get used to it.


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mari Fort Walton Beach, FL, United States 01-15-14
    Mari Fort Walton Beach, FL, United States 01-15-14 Member Since 2013
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    "don't bother"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would not recommend this book. The narration was nice, but the story was shallow and predictable.


    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 04-22-16
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    "Similar to movie"

    enjoyed it . . . very similar to the storyline of the movie . . .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tiphaine 03-30-16
    Tiphaine 03-30-16
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    "Un vrai coup de cœur !"

    Premier livre audio écouté ...et très bonne pioche.
    Je me suis vraiment plongée dans cette histoire, et attachée à ses personnages, perdus dans la vie, mais qui le temps d'un week-end arrive à trouver du sens.
    Souvent, on a l'impression que c'est la solution la plus "cliché" qui va être choisie, mais Joyce Maynard nous entraîne ailleurs, comme si elle nous disait "ce n'est pas si simple".
    Mention spéciale à Wilson Bethel pour l'interprétation ! Il incarne aussi bien l'évadé de prison que l'adolescente de 13 ans.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne Marie Carter 03-04-16
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    "Labor Day"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. The book has developed and believable characters. It had a great story line also.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The main character (the boy) because he learned from his mistakes.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Listening to him telling about driving his young child and wife up to visit his mother.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The end


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lena Bookin North Carolina 07-09-14
    Lena Bookin North Carolina 07-09-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Well Done"

    I like to read the books before I watch the movies and this book and narrator did not disappoint.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Desiree United States 03-12-14
    Desiree United States 03-12-14 Member Since 2009

    Researcher/oral historian and fitness enthusiast from Austin, TX, currently residing in San Diego. I love to read, but traditional books require a person to be sedentary while reading. Audio books make it possible for me to increase both my physical activity and reading quantity.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Heart-Breaking, Bittersweet, and Very, Very Good"

    Labor Day is a heart-breaking coming-of-age story about love, loss, grief, injustice, betrayal, longing, loneliness, goodness, strength, resiliency, redemption, and fulfillment. Some characters seem, at first, to be less than admirable; they appear weak, mentally unstable, and lacking in good judgement and good character. But as the story unravelled, my opinion changed dramatically: I felt only heart-wrenching sympathy/empathy and admiration for these characters whom I came to view as uncommonly good, strong people. At times, their stories made me incredibly angry and sad (get ready to cry if you are sensitive), but I also found bittersweet happiness and hope in the story. Maynard's narrative is at times poetic and perfect but it is a bit flawed at other times. For example, she writes that a character kept no fresh food or real food of any kind in the house; there were only frozen dinners and cans of soup. Yet, a house-guest was able to make chili, biscuits, pie, and pancakes from scratch without ever leaving the house to go to a grocery store. Other than small narrative inconsistencies like the one just described, Labor Day is a real gem of a story; I'm so thankful that I found it and added it to my library. It was well worth the credit I spent.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • miss lj lawley
    5/29/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Love, love, loved it"

    I saw the film first and loved it so wanted to read the book. The narrators voice was just amazing capturing all the characters and the story was like the film addictive. Will read another book by the author thank you for writing such an enjoyable story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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