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Sold on a Monday: A Novel by Kristina…

Sold on a Monday: A Novel (2018)

by Kristina McMorris

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An interesting eye opener about the great depression. The author's note at the end left a somewhat uncomfortable feeling in my heart. It's still a shock to me what people would do to their children. ( )
  nu-bibliophile | Mar 15, 2019 |
The Great Depression was a tumultuous time in our nation's history. Out of desperation, people did things that, under different circumstances, they would never do. In 1931, on a hot summer day in Pennsylvania, a newspaper reporter takes an innocent picture that sparks a chain of events that is a complete game changer.

Children for sale. It's a concept that is unfathomable to many of us, but no one really understands unless you're put in a dire situation. It is the choice that one mother makes for her two beautiful children, for her own personal reasons, despite many judging her. While this family deals with the effects of that choice Ellis, the reporter responsible for the photo, becomes famous overnight, and completely changes his life.

The fact that Ellis's success came at the expense of this family being torn apart, and two children being sold, gnaws at Ellis until he cannot take it anymore. Ellis, and his friend and fellow co-worker Lily, vow to do everything they can to make sure the children are safe in their new home. It is this choice that begins an investigation that leads both Ellis and Lily down a dark and unexpected path.

Though Sold on a Monday took a different turn than what I had originally thought, I really enjoyed all the twists and surprises. The suspense made me unable to turn the pages fast enough, and the ending did not disappoint. Well written, Kristina McMorris knows how to draw her reader in and not let go until the very end. A few instances of foul language is my only complaint about the book, but that's the newspaper biz, so I had to brush it off despite not liking that component.

You really feel like you're there for every moment, giving you a taste of some of the effects of the Great Depression. 2 children for sale. Sad indeed. ( )
  cflores0420 | Feb 13, 2019 |
This book club read is not one I would have selected. There are other fiction ("Before We Were Yours") and nonfiction ("The Baby Thief") books dealing with involuntary "adoptions", particularly in times of financial upheaval.

McMorris credits as her inspiration a 1948 newspaper photograph purportedly offering four children "for sale". When she later learned that the photo was apparently staged, the final piece of the puzzle clicked into place.

The story focuses not on the illegal / involuntary "adoption" trade, but on the young photographer who stages a similar photo in order to salvage a story he hopes will bring him promotion. When his action sets into motion a chain of events he never intended, he tries to set things right with the assistance of an aspiring journalist temporarily working as a secretary at the paper.

McMorris does an adequate job with character development, though she comes perilously close to melodrama as the story draws to its conclusion. Unfortunately, she never really touches on the motivations and circumstances that would drive a parent to the extremes many actually faced during the Great Depression, or looks at the way the laws were indifferent to the abuses in the system.

By focusing on the developing relationship between the two main characters, she keeps the novel strictly in the pop-lit category -- author's choice, of course. But anyone interested in exploring the background topic needs to look elsewhere. ( )
  LyndaInOregon | Feb 11, 2019 |
Sold on a Monday is based on a real-life photograph that was taken during the Great Depression. Kristina McMorris uses this jumping off point to pen a story of newspaper employees, Ellis and Lilly. When Ellis takes a picture of two boys sitting on a porch with a sign, children for sale, Lilly sees it by mistake. Showing it to the editor of the newspaper they work for, sets in motion a story of 2 children, their mother and what happens to their lives based on a decision Ellis makes to get ahead in the news business.

Ellis and Lilly were both flawed characters. Ellis had a strained relationship with his parents, his father being disappointed with Ellis' career choice. He also makes decisions in his life that affect others, but he does not consider that affect until it is too late. Lilly was an unwed mother. If you know about the moral beliefs and standards at that time, unwed mothers were not accepted by society. Jobs were not made available to them. Lilly kept her son Samuel a secret to those in her city life, while her parents took care of him during the week. She was a loving mother and spent as much time as she could with him though. The main storyline was quite good and kept my attention. There were parts in the middle about the relationship between Lilly and Ellis and another reporter (read triangle here), that did not keep my attention as much and it was a bit slower, but keep going. The response from Ellis and Lilly when they find out that the children had been sold made them heroes in my eyes. Lilly, being a mom, followed her heart and Ellis, having so much guilt about what happened, could not rest until he rectified the situation, often taking risks that could have cost him so much. The end of Sold on a Monday is heartbreaking. There is a twist in the plot that I did not see coming, until right near the end. I was both surprised and happy with the ending.

If you read the notes from the author at the end of the book, you will find out why she wrote this story as well as finding out what happened to the four children in the original photograph. It was not a happy ending for them. The author played the "what if" angle of that photograph. What if the mother had second thoughts? What if the photographer had remorse over publishing the picture? She also explored the reasons why a parent would choose to do something like that. The story that she created out of that photograph was heartbreaking.

This was an interesting and well-written story set during the Great Depression. This book was historically accurate and told about part of history that I was not really aware of. To think that parents were that desperate is heartbreaking. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Historical Fiction, especially stories from the U.S. or Canada. The publisher, Sourcebooks - Landmark, generously provided me with a copy of this book to read. The rating, ideas and opinions are my own. ( )
  Carlathelibrarian | Feb 5, 2019 |
I enjoyed this work of historical fiction which took place during the Depression. Ellis Reed is a struggling reporter, working a society column. He took a picture of 2 children along with a sign stating the children were for sale. After seeing the picture, the Chief's secretary, Lily Palmer, passes it onto the Chief. This sets the story in motion.
Ellis struggles with his success as the beginnings of the photo published in the paper were not what they seemed. Lily is aware of this, but doesn't tell anyone. The children's fate, and the story surrounding them, has sinister undertones.
The book is based, in part, on a picture the author saw, as well as some real reporters and how they began on the society columns. Most of the book is fictional, though, and leads you to stretch your imagination when the 2 main characters go through with their plan.
I thought the writing was engaging, the book was very easy to read, and the reading went quickly.
#SoldOnAMonday #KristinaMcMorris ( )
  rmarcin | Jan 22, 2019 |
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"A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed."
"Photography is the art of observation. It has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them."
"There is nothing to fear except the persistent refusal to find out the truth."
"There is not a trick, there is not a swindle, there is not a vice which does not live by secrecy."
For the children in the picture
First words
Outside the guarded entrance, reporters circled like a pack of wolves.
About how pictures, like people, so often were not as they appeared.
Reporters and physicians had this much in common: at their core, they were solvers of puzzles and riddles.
If he'd learned anything from his job, it was that truths tended to float to the surface, when after a little stirring, you simply let a person talk.
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