Read advance reader review of Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris, page 4 of 5

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Sold on a Monday

by Kristina McMorris

Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris X
Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris
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  • Published in USA  Aug 2018
    352 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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There are currently 33 member reviews
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  • Virginia M. (San Antonio, TX)


    What it could have been
    I have some positive things to say about Sold on a Monday but I also want to talk about certain things about the book that bothered me.

    First it is an interesting story although I think that no one is really going to be surprised by the "living happily ever after" ending. I would also call it an easy read where I could relate to the life experiences of the two main characters and I never lost interest as I read.

    Ellis is a young man trying to get ahead on his job as a reporter at a newspaper. He seems to be driven by a desire to make good in order to prove his worth to his father. He has a personal hobby of taking pictures and one day as he was passing through a rural area he took a picture of two boys on the porch of a weathered farmhouse. Later he discovers that there was a sign leaning against the porch of that house advertising that the boys are for sale. Then, through a series of circumstances, Ellis makes an unfortunate decision and the deception created by that decision haunts him as time goes by. It is a good illustration of the old adage: Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when once we practice to deceive.

    Lily is employed as a secretary at the same newspaper as Ellis. She has been living a lie in an effort to hide the existence of her young son who was conceived on the night of a dream date with a handsome young man. Lilly planned to give her baby up for adoption but she could not go through with that plan. Now she dreams of better paying job so that she can finally afford to live together as a family with her young son. Then, Lily unwittingly becomes a force in the deception that Ellis has created.

    I think the author does a good job developing those two characters. I think the issues of deception, the love of a mother for her child, and the impacts that choices have on our life give the story some depth and the budding romance between Ellis and Lily gives it warmth. As another positive, I think the author succeeds in describing the stressful deadline driven life of reporters in the newspaper business.

    The rest of the story is wrapped around those two people and that photograph and, as far as I am concerned, therein lies the problem that I had with the book. I think the author should have told us more about the two children and their mother that are involved in the story. The story of Ellis and Lily could have been told in an easy reading summer read – but the issues of what is treated as a side story could have made this a best seller. As written, we have very little opportunity to really experience the emotional wounds and despairs of those three individuals as it happens.
    And if that side story has been brought front and center, the historical aspect of Great Depression would have come to life with the reader being able to sense the real difficulties of life during that period. After all it was that setting that made me want to read this book. I was not expecting another love story – I was expecting this to primarily be a historical novel about how hard times force tough decisions.

    In summary, I think it was a good book and I enjoyed reading it and feel fortunate to have been given the opportunity to tell others about it. But I think the opportunity was there for the author to create a better book maybe even reaching up and making it one of the best.
  • Lucy S. (Westford, MA)


    Ambition vs moral integrity
    Historical fiction based in the early 1930's - the author pulls you into the lives of the characters - their past, present and leaves you wondering about their futures. Suspense as the story progresses - watching the characters and how they handle their ambitions with their strong moral integrity.
  • Joan P. (Owego, NY)


    Sold On a Monday
    A depression-era news photo of two children with a "For Sale" was a picture that the author could not erase from her memory. McMorris used it to write a fascinating novel about what might have happened to these children. Lots of twists and turns and just when you think you have figured out what is going to happen, something happens to upset your theory. As a backdrop to the main plot you get a look at a time when, children worked in coal mines, unwed mothers were shunned, newspapers were thriving, and you had to crank your car to start it. It was a terrible time in America but makes a great read.
  • Madeline M (Florida)


    Desperate Times, Desperate Measures
    This is a solid historical fiction novel about characters who make choices out of desperation and must then deal with the repercussions. The setting and details of the time period add an interesting layer to the story.
  • Dawn Z. (Canton, MI)


    Fascinating premise
    I really enjoyed the first half of this book. The story is based on the author's interpretation of a famous photo taken during the Depression, and she weaves quite a tale around a similar fictional photo taken by a young journalist. There's romance, newsroom rivalry, and good character development. The second half of the book seemed more forced to me. It was more plot-driven and there was a lot of what I felt was gratuitous violence from mob figures. Overall, I enjoyed the book and would recommend it.
  • Molly K. (San Jose, CA)


    Fake News
    This "happily ever after" book started with an enticing premise. What happened when children were sold for survival during the great depression? (Parenthetically, children were sometimes relinquished for adoption, but rarely for cash.)

    An unforgivable error occurred when two children, sister and brother, were pictured on a poster with a "for sale" sign. Finding these children and returning them to their mother took many turns, including squabbling newspaper reporters, unwed motherhood, child abuse, family separation, the mob, father-son reconciliation, a night time raid, and predictable romance.

    A lot going on, huh! For me, this book quickly dissolves into a soap opera with too many extraneous side stories and no real depth into the lives of those who faced unthinkable choices during this period.
  • Pau J. (Bath, ME)


    1930 -- it's tough to be a kid
    "Sold on a Monday" is based on an early 1930's photograph. McMorris moved the story along quickly & believably. I wasn't sure if the book wanted to be historical fiction or mystery; it seemed like half of both. The book would benefit from more details of 1930's life, in order to saturate the reader in the environment of the novel.

    Geraldine's illness was confusing, after we found out she didn't die of tuberculosis. It matters, since she didn't die, but it was glossed over. She also seemed like a very different person when we met her later in the book.

    I would have liked the link to the 2013 article mentioned in the author's note if it's available on the web.

    [Pau - we are checking with the author and will post the link if available.]

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