SOLD ON A MONDAY by Kristina McMorris

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From the publisher:

From New York Times bestselling author Kristina McMorris comes another unforgettable novel inspired by a stunning piece of history. 

2 CHILDREN FOR SALE

The sign is a last resort. It sits on a farmhouse porch in 1931, but could be found anywhere in an era of breadlines, bank runs and broken dreams. It could have been written by any mother facing impossible choices.

For struggling reporter Ellis Reed, the gut-wrenching scene evokes memories of his family’s dark past. He snaps a photograph of the children, not meant for publication. But when it leads to his big break, the consequences are more devastating than he ever imagined.

At the paper, Lillian Palmer is haunted by her role in all that happened. She is far too familiar with the heartbreak of children deemed unwanted. As the bonds of motherhood are tested, she and Ellis must decide how much they are willing to risk to mend a fractured family.

Inspired by an actual newspaper photograph that stunned the nation, Sold on a Monday is a powerful novel of love, redemption, and the unexpected paths that bring us home.


I read about this book and thought it might make for a good book discussion, except that while based on an actual photograph (right) that was taken in 1948, the author changed the time frame to more than a decade earlier, at the height of the depression. I understand that she was inspired by the photo to write fiction, and her notes in the back of the book make it very clear how and why she changed it, but to me it lessened the impact of the story.

I would have appreciated more character development. The main characters were fully realized, but I didn’t really understand many of the secondary characters and their motivations and I would have liked to. The back stories on most of the characters were merely eluded to or glossed over and could have used some fleshing out.

The time period was interesting for sure, especially because it seems like most of the books set in the late 40’s deal with the aftermath of the war, and this really didn’t.  I liked the newsroom setting and the interactions of the reporters, and especially the hierarchy of the organizations. The culture of the time was also very well done and enlightening. Despite a few misgivings, it was a compelling and interesting read.

9/18 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

SOLD ON A MONDAY by Kristina McMorris. Sourcebooks Landmark (August 28, 2018). ISBN 978-1492663997. 352p.

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