Wednesday, January 27, 2010

This is a beautiful book- the language, the imagery, the characters. Telling the story of what happens when a drifter wanders in to the lives of a mother and son one labor day weekend, Maynard examines child and adult love, as well as the bonds of family. This is a book of few characters, but they are deeply drawn and fully believable. Central to the story is the relationship of a mother and her thirteen-year-old son. Maynard tells us of the love they give one another, but also of the love that each desires, which the other cannot give. Frank, the mysterious man who enters their lives that Labor Day weekend seems able to fill the gap. This is a short book, but also a deeply moving one. I was a bit concerned that the short timespan the book covers (four days) would lead to repetition or drawn-out prose, but that is not the case at all. The book moves quickly, and I enjoyed every minute of it. This is a book I kept reading to get more of the prose, rather than to advance the plot. The plot is certainly there, but it is secondary to the writing. I highly recommend it.

Joyce Maynard, Labor Day (William Morrow, 2009) ISBN: 0061843407

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