Sold on a Monday
by Kristina McMorris
Sold on a Monday is one of those books that keeps returning to your thoughts—sad and soul crushing, but at the same time hopeful. Even the book’s title has a haunting echo: Sold on a Monday. What would it take for a mother to give up her children or further to sell them? Just how precious is a child to a mother and how can she survive when her child is gone? Sold on a Monday contains this theme within the story of a reporter’s drive for success, a secretary’s desire for secrecy, and families’ difficult relationships.
Sold on a Monday is set in the financial desolation of 1931 in Pennsylvania where Ellis, a reporter, snaps a photo of a sign “2 children for sale.” This one picture sets in motion the events contained in Kristina McMorris’ work of historical fiction that incorporates many elements of the Depression. It shows a poverty that brings out the best and the worst in people. Orphans are “adopted” to become forced workers. Mobs control cities, and Prohibition is for those without connections. Neighbors help neighbors, and shopkeepers set aside unsold goods for for the hungry, helpless, and homeless.
I was a little troubled by the romantic triangle in Sold on a Monday. At some points I felt the secretary with reporter aspirations, Lily, is being unfair to the two men interested in her. In fairness to her, however, although she has a four year old son, she is very young. At a time when being an unwed mother is a disgrace, she is attempting to make a living, take care of her child, and help her parents without whose support she would be in desperate straits. The author works out the triangle satisfactorily, if perhaps a bit too tidily, in the end.
I do recommend Sold on a Monday. It would be especially good for book clubs as it lends itself well to discussion. In fact, the author includes a section of questions for that purpose at the end of the book.
I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Sourcebooks Landmark for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: Historical Fiction, General Fiction (Adult)
Publication: August 28, 2018—Sourcebooks Landmark
“Even when life’s downright lousy, most kids are still so resilient because…well, I guess ‘cause they don’t know any different. It’s like they only realize how unfair their lives are if you tell them. And even then, all they need is the smallest amount of hope and they could do just about anything they set their minds to…”
He dared to ask for a repeat of a point and instantly saw his mistake in the man’s hardened face. Everything about him—his eyes and nose, his build and demeanor resembled a watchful owl. Just biding his time until he swooped in for the kill.
Then she heard. “Can you tell me how it all started?” It was a standard question that blended the reporter in Lily’s head with the detective before her, and she wasn’t entirely certain which of them had asked.