This is a mystery/suspense/love/action story that I read really, really fast. It is a story about George Foss who has settled into a simple, lonely life of 40 years. He has he career and a small apartment and his cat. Sure, he has a”friendship” with Irene…but it is not heading anywhere serious. And there was that time in college with Audrey…he fell in love as a freshman with this beautiful, smart girl. Over winter break, Audrey commits suicide, and George’s life will never be the same.
It is in a bar, when he sees Liana Dector…a mysterious and dangerous woman from his past. It has been 20 years since she went missing after she was accused of murder. She has found George. She needs George. And George is quite naive and trusting (I like him for this….though I wish he was a bit smarter about it all). He is quickly caught up with Liana, and what follows is a story that reads like Hitchcock. I really enjoyed this …I don;t want to give too much away since the suspense and mystery truly is what makes this an appealing read. I will say that the cover photo was questionable…not sure its purpose, but all will be revealed in the end. Patience, my friends.
I also read that this is going to be a movie. I truly believe that Hollywood has run out of any creativity and needs writers more than ever to keep them in business. It seems every book I read…eventually becomes a movie and most of the time, I just want them to stay a book.
So this weekend a group of us went to the cinema to see Labor Day. [see photo: Kathy (my mom), Sandy, Tracy, Karla, Sheri, me, Michalene, Karin and Sue. Kim joined us after the previews]. Out of all of us, only one of us had not read the book…Sandy. And she was confused, but I will get to that in a bit. We all felt the movie was basically true to the book…basically. There were bizarre changes that we did not understand….using rope to tie Adele up instead of silk scarves, for one. And there were some changes we could understand: for example the character of Frank was depicted a bit more creepy in the beginning of the movie than the book. I am sure this was to appear more realistic to the movie goer. In the same manner, Adele is portrayed differently in the movie than the book. In the book she was indifferent even reckless about Frank’s request to take him home. As we all read the book, we were shocked that a mother would put her 13 year-old son in danger so easily. The translation to screen changed Adele’s manner to be frightened and apprehensive and even protective of her son Henry. However, she just is not a strong-willed person, so she easily allows Frank to take charge and change their lives.
We didn’t like why certain information was left out: the abortion and most of Frank’s background story. We appreciated that Adele finally was able to tell her story to Frank, and we were able to understand her sadness a little clearer, but we never fully grasped what Frank’s back story truly is. We see his story in bizarre flashbacks which we, the readers, were able to piece together to make sense. Yet, Sandy (who did not read the book) was left confused and did not feel she could sympathize with Frank…she did not see him in a positive light…just creepy.
We all agreed that we were happy not to see Henry’s first sexual encounter displayed on the screen. Something we did not need to visually witness. We were also pleased that the scenes with Barry did not include Frank bathing him and cutting his nails…yes, it showed his compassion, but again….creepy. We feel they were able to show Frank’s compassionate side in other ways and we applaud that decision.
The ending was something we were not happy with…we were left to question who turned Frank in….Henry’s father or the neighbor? When in reality (the book) it was the angst-ridden teen that Henry meets in town who turned him in for the reward money. Why was this altered?
Though not of us loved the book, we all preferred it over the film….which is usually the case. Sandy is going to read the book now because she felt that there were too many holes in the film for her, and she felt the need to fill them immediately.