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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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Page 4 of 5
There are currently 35 member reviews
for Sold on a Monday
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  • Patricia E. (Sugarcreek, OH)

    Depression-era Philadelphia serves as the backdrop for this heart wrenching yet ultimately satisfying novel. Much of the plot involves the lives of a newspaper staff and the principle of truth, both in journalism and in the lives of the two main characters. These characters are flawed and secretive but trying to live up to standards set by their families. They become involved in the lives of children who are sold by their parents as a way out of poverty. As unthinkable as this practice seems to the reader, a picture of a sign advertising such a sale served as the author's motivation to write "Sold on a Monday."

    I started the book knowing that the subject matter would be difficult, but McMorris handles is with sensitivity. This is as much a story of loving families as it is of lost children. It is a book that doesn't offer easy answers to difficult situations and lends itself to the kind of discussion most book clubs would enjoy.
  • DeAnn A. (Denver, CO)

    Heartbreaking yet Inspiring Story
    Kristina McMorris focuses this Depression-era story on two aspiring journalists, both trying to make their way up in the newspaper world. We have Ellis, who snaps a picture of two children with the "2 Children for Sale" sign that propels his career ahead. The other journalist is Lillian who is toiling away as the Chief's secretary, but she really wants to write more -- including her own column. The two journalists work to unravel the fate of the children in the photograph and there is some suspense in the second half. I liked these two characters, but part of me really wishes that the story had focused on the family in the picture.

    The author does a great job painting the picture of what newsrooms were like during this time and there are some other elements involved in the story -- speakeasies, the mob, boarding houses, society's view of unwed mothers, mental illness, and factory/mining conditions.

    I recommend this sweet book to people that like historical books, it reminded me a bit of "Love and Other Consolation Prizes" and "Before We Were Yours."
  • 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.


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