Play Sample

Labor Day audiobook

  • By: Joyce Maynard
  • Narrator: Wilson Bethel
  • Category: Family Life, Fiction
  • Length: 6 hours 15 minutes
  • Publisher: HarperAudio
  • Publish date: July 28, 2009
  • Language: English
  • (26020 ratings)
(26020 ratings)
33% Cheaper than Audible
Get for $0.00
  • $9.99 per book vs $14.95 at Audible
    Good for any title to download and keep
  • Listen at up to 4.5x speed
    Good for any title to download and keep
  • Fall asleep to your favorite books
    Set a sleep timer while you listen
  • Unlimited listening to our Classics.
    Listen to thousands of classics for no extra cost. Ever
Loading ...
Regular Price: 21.99 USD

Labor Day Audiobook Summary

“Joyce Maynard is in top-notch form with Labor Day. Simply a novel you cannot miss.”

–Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of My Sister’s Keeper and Keeping Faith

“Maynard has created an ensemble of characters that will sneak into your heart, and warm it while it breaks.”

St. Petersburg Times

Joyce Maynard, acclaimed author of At Home in the World, is back with Labor Day. The unforgettable story of a mother and son forever changed during a long summer weekend when a mysterious man comes into their lives. Labor Day is “a sexy, page turning, poignant story” (Jane Hamilton, author of A Map of the World) that “affirms Maynard’s reputation as a master storyteller and shows her to be a passionate humanist with a gifted ear and heart” (People)

Other Top Audiobooks

Labor Day Audiobook Narrator

Wilson Bethel is the narrator of Labor Day audiobook that was written by Joyce Maynard

Joyce Maynard is the author of nine previous novels and five books of nonfiction, as well as the syndicated column, “Domestic Affairs.” Her bestselling memoir, At Home in the World, has been translated into sixteen languages. Her novels To Die For and Labor Day were both adapted for film. Maynard currently makes her home in New Haven, Connecticut.

About the Author(s) of Labor Day

Joyce Maynard is the author of Labor Day

Labor Day Full Details

NarratorWilson Bethel
Length6 hours 15 minutes
AuthorJoyce Maynard
Release dateJuly 28, 2009


The publisher of the Labor Day is HarperAudio. includes the following subjects: The BISAC Subject Code is Family Life, Fiction

Additional info

The publisher of the Labor Day is HarperAudio. The imprint is HarperAudio. It is supplied by HarperAudio. The ISBN-13 is 9780061956409.

Global Availability

This book is only available in the United States.

Goodreads Reviews


September 07, 2022

Henry is a 13-year-old living with his pet hamster, Joe, and his agoraphobic, damaged mother at the end of a cul-de-sac in Holton Mills, New Hampshire. He sees his father on Saturday nights for unappetizing outings to Friendly’s with dad’s new family. Henry is small, unathletic and on the lower steps of the social ladder at school. But changes are afoot. His body is undergoing a metamorphosis in obvious ways, and his interests are beginning to point, sometimes embarrassingly so, toward girls. His life takes a turn on the Thursday before Labor Day, when a bleeding man approaches Henry while he is in a store with his mother, and asks for help.Joyce Maynard - from NY MagazineHenry’s coming-of-age journey includes lessons on throwing a baseball, learning how to make a perfect pie crust, exposure to sexuality, his own and others’, admiration, jealousy, selfishness, selflessness, love and betrayal. He learns the power of hope over despair, and the impact of betrayal.My upbringing was nothing like Henry’s but, having once been a 13-year-old boy, I felt I could relate to Henry’s struggles. Maynard captured the essence of that curious time of life and adds a morally thoughtful dimension that gives added heft to her story.Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin in the film - image from Cmfilmcommentary.comI ripped through this book in near record time. It is a fast read, but also a compelling one. Labor Day is a work well done.=============================EXTRA STUFFLinks to the author’s personal, Twitter and FB pagesThe film was released January 31, 2014. I saw the film a couple of weeks prior. It is a beautiful piece of work, very true to the book and it is depressing how sexy Josh Brolin is. Makes the rest of us guys look pretty bad. Winslet is in fine form, of course. I hear tell that Maynard wanted to offer ladies of a certain age an image of hope. It is amazingly sensuous, and a real shame that it was overlooked by Oscar voters. The NY Times reviewer had a very different opinion of the film GR pal Carmen has sent along a link to a fun article in Parade Magazine. Joyce Maynard had a very hands-on involvement in showing Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet how it is done when it comes to making a pie. Definitely worth a look. Gracias, Carmen.


June 30, 2016

4.5 StarsJust wow. I've met Ms Maynard too late in my life!This story would have been better for me, had I not watched the movie first. I liked both. I dare say I would have been obsessed with the book and rated a resounding 5 stars had I not been privy to the screen play prior to the novel. But this is okay with me, it just changed the route to get to the ending, in a way.The author added a handful of pages at the end, entitled “Don’t Try This at Home: How I Came to Write This Novel”. This is her story of how this story came to life. I like these added bits of gold, when the author gives their back story. What I gleaned from this is that Joyce is a trusting soul, likes to see the best in people and likes to see a story unfold, whether she has weighed up every little pro and con there could be - or not. I see this in myself in a way, and now am very keen to learn more about her and her work. This is my favourite part – “But the world I want to live in as a world in which it is still possible to believe in goodness, to trust in love. If a happy ending of sorts presented itself in Labor Day, I take no credit for it. The characters themselves created their story. I just wrote it down for them.”I like that Adele, our fragile leading lady trusted in this man she met, realistic or not, I love that she took a chance, and I also love that Frank was a good man who showed his love straight away. This is a story and JM saw it through. In her words and I’d echo them “Maybe it’s an impossibly romantic and idealistic story” but it’s a story of fiction which is there for the telling. I’m glad she told it!“Everybody talks about all this crazy, wild passion, he said. That’s how it goes, in the songs. Your mother was like that. She was in love with love. She couldn’t do anything partway. She felt everything so deeply, it was like the world was too much for her. Any time she’d hear a story about some kids who had cancer, or an old man whose wife died, or his dog even, it was like it happened to her”. I see a woman with passion here, I like what she’s written and I want to read more.Update, June 2016, a very cold winter: Months after reading I still think of this book. I stumbled across a delightful video of Joyce Maynard baking her 'pie'. Having a capable 13 year old at home on holidays before her siblings care of grammar school here she is following said recipe. Was fun translating sticks of butter and tapioca etc! Joyce was such fun and absolutely delicious I have to say! Here is my girl: and here is the final product: Too yummy: Finally, here is the link so you can see the lovely Joyce Maynard in action:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDKoW...


February 05, 2017

If people saw the movie....Even 'with' a talented cast.., it's not nearly as good as the book!!!!


February 13, 2013

A quick, easy ready that touched me and had me in tears near the end. I've read Joyce Maynard before and she can really pull you in a story. This story is told thru the eyes of a thirteen year-old boy who lives with his mother. They live a lonely existence as she is a recluse and battling her own demons. They encounter an escaped convicted criminal in a store and take him home for the long weekend. What transpires that weekend changes all of their lives forever and has you rooting for something you normally wouldn't.

Carol [Goodreads Addict]

February 22, 2014

I have not seen the movie yet of Labor Day by Joyce Maynard, but I’ve seen enough movie trailers that I could read the book with the visuals of Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet in my head. About at the half way point if asked, I would have rated the book 4 stars. But somewhere in that last half when everything was happening, my heart was lost. 5 huge and well deserved stars is the rating I am giving this book.Henry is thirteen years old. He lives with his somewhat dysfunctional mother, Adele. Adele has several issues and at first, I was trying to come up with a proper diagnosis. But as I progressed through the book, it became obvious that her only true diagnosis was a broken heart. “She felt everything so deeply, it was like the world was too much for her.” During one of Henry and Adele’s rare trips to the store, Henry is approached by Frank who has escaped from prison. He is hurt and they take him home with them. During the six days he spent there, all of their lives were changed forever. We learn Frank’s story and you can’t help but fall in love with him. We learn Adele’s past, and the pain she has endured. These two people that have mostly only known loneliness find hope and love through each other. “If I’d never jumped out that window, I never would have found you.” The story is told from Henry’s point of view as an adult remembering back to that time. A time when he was struggling with sexual awareness, living a somewhat lonely and awkward existence with his mother, and struggling with his relationship with his own father. Those six days had a profound impact on Henry and molded the rest of his life. I can honestly say that these three will not be forgotten anytime soon. They have etched themselves into my heart and there they will stay.


December 20, 2014

There is a metaphor at the heart of this book, that of the creation of an upper crust for a peach pie and the difficulties encountered when the hands are shaky and the weather is humid. It must be handled delicately and involves a little magic. Such magic is present when a stranger who also happens to be an escaped convict lands in the house of a 13 year old self-described "loser" and his agoraphobic mother, both of whom could use a great deal of help. If the setup sounds a little too facile, the execution really is more complicated. Other reviews have said this is told from the point of view of that 13 year old, but it really is told from the point of view of that boy as an adult. It is a memory piece, not a journal of days. Such qualifiers as "at that time" give this away, making it much more than just a record, but a haunting realization of the power that a positive person can have at a pivotal time in someones life and how the result resonates decades after the fact. The novel is short in length, but is reminiscent of John Irving at his best.


May 18, 2017

A solid enjoyable read. I enjoyed the storyline, who cares if a little unbelievable. It was good to have the story told from the point of view of 13 year old Henry, even if some of that pre pubescent teenage musings got a little awkward. I loved Adele, you feel her sadness, she's a great character and I can understand how she fell for the charming con on the loose, the element of danger and being a recluse made him seem very compelling, you kind of wanted her to have a happy ending even under the questionable circumstances. I enjoyed listening to the audiobook, it was a simple easy to follow story and now I'll just have to force myself to watch the movie...hello Josh Brolin ;) lol


February 10, 2014

Very good book..I hope the movie is as well done....


December 31, 2022

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Genre: Contemporary FictionI’m experimenting with a new structure for my reviews for 2023. Not all the books will be reviewed in this format, but whatever I find suitable will be.The Plot:The protagonists of Joyce Maynard's book Labor Day are 13-year-old Henry and his mother Adele, who lead quiet, solitary lives in a small New Hampshire town. Frank Chambers, a guy on the run from the law after escaping from jail, pays them a visit over Labor Day weekend. Despite their initial apprehension, Adele and Henry grow to like Frank and decide to assist him in eluding the law after realizing that he is a good man who has been falsely convicted of a crime.The three of them become closer as they spend the long weekend together and start to rely on one another for emotional support. Henry starts to view Frank as a father figure and an inspiration, and Adele, who has been dealing with depression and feelings of isolation, finds comfort in Frank's presence. The three of them must face the painful truth of their circumstances and the decisions they have made as the weekend comes to a conclusion and Frank's time in hiding comes to an end. In addition to deciding whether to turn Frank in or assist him in escaping, they also have to deal with the difficult feelings they have grown to have for one another.The Characters:Adele: A single mother who is a resilient and self-reliant lady who has faced many obstacles in life, including raising Henry by herself. Although she presents a stern exterior, she is incredibly maternal and compassionate.Henry: A smart and inquisitive teenager who is struggling with coming of age. The events of Labor Day weekend and the relationships Henry forms with Frank and his mother have a significant impact on him.Frank Chambers: A man who has been wrongfully accused of committing a crime and is trying to avoid being apprehended. Despite the difficult situation he is in, he is compassionate, sympathetic, and empathic. He develops a close relationship with Adele and Henry and teaches them that there is more to the world than they know.The Pace:Generally speaking, the pace is well-balanced, with an emphasis on character growth and the emergence of the relationships between the main characters. The majority of the action in the story is focused on the interactions between Adele, Henry, and Frank as they spend time together in their small New Hampshire town over the course of a long holiday weekend.There are some tense and contentious moments, especially as the characters struggle with the difficulties of their predicament and the significance of the secrets they are concealing from the outside world. These scenes, though, are broken up by quieter, more introspective ones where the characters consider their pasts and their feelings for one another.Pros:Characters that are well-developed: The themes and conflicts in Labor Day are largely driven by the novel's complex, fully realized characters. They are multi-faceted, with plausible and relatable motivations and behaviors.Writing is strong: Joyce Maynard is a gifted and skilled author, and her prose is vivid and evocative. The novel is well-written and easy to read, and it is sure to leave a lasting impression on readers.Emotionally stirring: The book examines a number of themes, including love, loss, grief, forgiveness, and hope. Cons:The pace could be considered somehow slow for some readers. I personally think it was well-balanced and suited the story very well. The story contains a number of upsetting themes, making it unsuitable for everyone. Lessons learned from the story:The importance of forgiveness: The concept of forgiveness is one of Labor Day's central themes, and the book examines the various paths individuals can take to develop their capacity for both self- and other-forgiveness. All the characters in the book are dealing with regrets and mistakes from the past, and in order to move on and find happiness, they must learn to let go of their resentment and hurt.The importance of family: The novel also examines the idea of family and how it can give people love, support, and a sense of belonging. Particularly, Adele and Henry develop close relationships with Frank, and these connections enable them to view the world differently and discover new meanings in their own lives.The value of honesty and integrity: As the characters in the book struggle with the difficulties of their circumstances and the secrets they are hiding, they are forced to make morally challenging decisions. To be happy and at peace, they must learn the value of being honest and true to themselves, even when it is difficult.The strength of love: Labor Day's characters all find comfort and support in their love for one another, and as a result, they are able to get through a lot of difficulties.Trigger Warnings:Domestic violence, mental illness, physical abuse, and child abuse.I watched the movie adaptation starring Kate Winslet many years ago and loved it. The book is excellent as well. In some ways, the tone of the book reminds me of Ian McEwan’s Atonement. There are all kinds of emotions that you will experience when reading this story. On the surface, it seems to be a simple story, but it is actually deep and complex. This was a beautiful read.


September 11, 2017

%@#&$^I wrote my review directly on GR, (I know, I know, it's a bad habit) and when I clicked post, it all went crazy.So here we go again, penning a quick review as I've got to dash out.As you can see, I truly enjoyed this audiobook. These days, due to my huge TBR list, I rarely read books made into movies that I watched. BTW, I thought the movie was pretty good, despite Josh Brolin (he's a good actor, but I'm not a fan). I hadn't read Maynard and upon seeing this audiobook at the library it called to me.Henry, the narrator of this novel, remembers the events of the Labor Day long weekend, 1987, when his mother and he took home an injured man, named Frank. Henry was thirteen at the time. He lived with his mum, Adele, who's almost a complete recluse. His father remarried and Henry sees him once or twice a week.Maynard's writing was very atmospheric. I could feel the heat, the literal summer heat, and the figurative one between Adele and Frank, who had a very unlikely relationship. But was it, really?The poor Henry has mixed emotions, amplified by his puberty.I don't want to give away too much. I absolutely loved this book. The characters were well drawn. Frank was quite the man, maybe a bit too good to be true (if I keep my cynical hat on), but somehow I bought it, or better said, I allowed Maynard's writing and Wilson Bethel's beautiful narration to transport me, and I appreciate that.A gorgeous little book! A wonderful audiobook.


March 19, 2017

I knew I had to read this book after seeing the trailer to the movie. And now that I have read this beautifully written novel I hope the movie does it justice.I watched the movie last night and although I enjoyed it very much I enjoyed the book more!


March 23, 2014

I picked up this book because it’s going to be made into a movie in 2014, with Kate Winslet. If the movie follows the book, it will be a great movie. Maynard knows how to write not only a fabulous story, she writes incredible sentences. Reading her work is like watching a beautiful movie. In this novel, an escaped convict comes upon a sad and lonely divorcee and her teenage son. Told from Henry’s, the teenage son, point of view, his mother, Adele is cast in a morose and damaged light. Adele is basically a shut-in: she refuses to go out in public unless it’s a dire necessity. Henry does grocery shopping once a month; Adele just drives. They eat canned soup and frozen dinners. Henry even does the banking at the bank. Henry sees his father on Saturday night for an awkward dinner at Friendly’s. The escaped convict, Frank, happens upon them at an unusual excursion to Pricemart to get Henry back-to-school clothes. Henry has just turned 13, and Maynard makes this novel, which takes place in 5 days, a coming-of–age story for Henry as well as a suspenseful novel. Frank, bleeding from his head and clearly in pain, finds Henry and asks him if he’d help Frank out by giving him a ride. The two of them find Adele, who oddly agrees to take Frank to her home. This begins a 5 day saga of Frank, Adele, and Henry’s story. As Henry tells the story, the reader aches for Adele and him in their isolation and loneliness. From what Henry sees in his 13 year old eyes, Frank should be feared, yet he and his mother trust him. It becomes a story of acceptance, trust, understanding, and fear. I’m a fan of realistic fiction, and although this should be a far-fetched novel, Maynard writes so beautifully that you have compassion for all involved and see the plausibility of the story. It is a great read and hopefully will be a great movie.


September 23, 2014

There are a few reasons why I listened to this book. 1) It’s called ‘Labor Day’ and I listened to it on the Labor Day. This one is actually more of a coincidence than an actual reason but let’s put it there anyway.2) It takes place in New Hampshire in early September, which is when I arrived in New Hampshire twelve years ago to spend a year there. This is the nostalgia reason.3) I suppose I’ll come clean and say it: the audiobook is read by Wilson Bethel who looks like this:I fancied the idea of having him talk to me for hours. Of course , it would help if he was talking sense. There is nothing worse than a really hot guy who opens his mouth and you wish he never did because now there is no way you could ever bring yourself sleep with him.Luckily not the case with ‘Labor Day’ which turned out to be a decent book. It is narrated by Henry who looks back on one very hot Labor Day weekend when he was thirteen which changed his life forever. Henry’s mother, Adele, is not exactly in the shortlist for the Mother of the Year award. She is agoraphobic and barely leaves the house. The father is long gone having started a new family with someone better adjusted than Adele, so Henry lives alone with his mother eating canned and frozen food and dreaming about girls and sex. Little ever changes in their monotonous existence until that fateful weekend when Frank appears in their lives and it’s just like Adele to invite a possibly dangerous stranger into her house.As it turns out, Frank doesn’t seem to be dangerous and is quite possibly the best thing that could’ve happened to this tiny family. He cooks and fixes things around the house, and plays baseball with Henry. Here the book walks the thin line between an interesting story and a Hallmark Channel Movie where people meet an angel in an unlikely form of a fugitive criminal who teaches them to love again and make pies.What saves the novel is Henry, who having just entered puberty, is sure to complicate things the way hormonally unbalanced individuals only know how. I think those self-inflicted complications are the best part of the book which should end with the end of the weekend. I think three or four chapters of what was basically an epilogue were unnecessary. But I’m generally not a big fan of epilogues which, to me, are like the extra piece of chocolate cake. You think you want it but after you had it you realise it would’ve been better if you stopped eating after the first piece.As for Wilson Bethel’s performance, I particularly liked the low, raspy voice he used for Frank. It made Frank appear in my head fully fleshed out like book characters rarely do.I have also just learnt that this is being turned into a movie and Kate Winslet will play Adele. After Little Children it’s clear that she can play unhappy mothers well.


February 09, 2014

The lives of thirteen year old Henry Wheeler, a lonely outcast, and his mother Adele, an emotionally fragile , reclusive, and also lonely woman , are about to change as they risk showing kindness to a stranger with a secret past. Spanning 6 days including Labor Day , this is a love story and coming of age story, and most recently a movie with Kate Winslet and Josh Brollin. I especially like the last chapters which are beautifully written. Is it wrong to try and grasp a bit of happiness , given the rare opportunity ? hmmmm. 4 stars.

SUSAN *Nevertheless,she persisted*

March 25, 2015

A young boys coming of age story.Two lost souls finding each other.A sweet,sad love story. Very well written. Wonderful characters,that stay in character. Just a good,solid book. I highly recommend it.

Frequently asked questions

Listening to audiobooks not only easy, it is also very convenient. You can listen to audiobooks on almost every device. From your laptop to your smart phone or even a smart speaker like Apple HomePod or even Alexa. Here’s how you can get started listening to audiobooks.

  • 1. Download your favorite audiobook app such as Speechify.
  • 2. Sign up for an account.
  • 3. Browse the library for the best audiobooks and select the first one for free
  • 4. Download the audiobook file to your device
  • 5. Open the Speechify audiobook app and select the audiobook you want to listen to.
  • 6. Adjust the playback speed and other settings to your preference.
  • 7. Press play and enjoy!

While you can listen to the bestsellers on almost any device, and preferences may vary, generally smart phones are offer the most convenience factor. You could be working out, grocery shopping, or even watching your dog in the dog park on a Saturday morning.
However, most audiobook apps work across multiple devices so you can pick up that riveting new Stephen King book you started at the dog park, back on your laptop when you get back home.

Speechify is one of the best apps for audiobooks. The pricing structure is the most competitive in the market and the app is easy to use. It features the best sellers and award winning authors. Listen to your favorite books or discover new ones and listen to real voice actors read to you. Getting started is easy, the first book is free.

Research showcasing the brain health benefits of reading on a regular basis is wide-ranging and undeniable. However, research comparing the benefits of reading vs listening is much more sparse. According to professor of psychology and author Dr. Kristen Willeumier, though, there is good reason to believe that the reading experience provided by audiobooks offers many of the same brain benefits as reading a physical book.

Audiobooks are recordings of books that are read aloud by a professional voice actor. The recordings are typically available for purchase and download in digital formats such as MP3, WMA, or AAC. They can also be streamed from online services like Speechify, Audible, AppleBooks, or Spotify.
You simply download the app onto your smart phone, create your account, and in Speechify, you can choose your first book, from our vast library of best-sellers and classics, to read for free.

Audiobooks, like real books can add up over time. Here’s where you can listen to audiobooks for free. Speechify let’s you read your first best seller for free. Apart from that, we have a vast selection of free audiobooks that you can enjoy. Get the same rich experience no matter if the book was free or not.

It depends. Yes, there are free audiobooks and paid audiobooks. Speechify offers a blend of both!

It varies. The easiest way depends on a few things. The app and service you use, which device, and platform. Speechify is the easiest way to listen to audiobooks. Downloading the app is quick. It is not a large app and does not eat up space on your iPhone or Android device.
Listening to audiobooks on your smart phone, with Speechify, is the easiest way to listen to audiobooks.