The Kilbourn Public Library Book Discussion Group is reading Labor Day by Joyce Maynard for the August book selection.
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.
As reported by Henry, his mother Adele displays a number of behaviors that could be interpreted as crazy. How do you explain her son's steadiness and competence? Do you consider Adele to be a bad mother?
Were you surprised that Adele was willing to bring Frank to her home? Why do you think she did?
Henry often refers to a "normal family," a "regular family," a "family." What does the concept of family mean to Henry? What does the term "normal family" mean to you?
How do you think the events of that Labor Day weekend changed Henry? How might his life have gone if Frank had not shown up?
Let us know what you think!
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Welcome to the internet home of the Kilbourn Public Library (KPL) Book Club. The KPL Book Club meets at the library once a month. A book is chosen for each month and then members of the book club meet the last Monday and Wednesday of every month for lively discussion and treats. While we can’t offer you treats via the internet, this KPL Reads blog was designed for those of you who would like to participate in the book club but don’t have time to join us at meetings. Each month KPL staff will post discussion topics and questions to get you “talking”. Join in the discussion by adding a post to the blog. Click on the word comments below the post you want to "talk" about and write your comment. Be sure to check back often to see feedback and comments.