Apr 13, 2018

Book Review: Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris

Sold on a Monday

Title: Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris
Publication: August 28, 2018, Sourcebooks Landmark
Genre: historical fiction
Objective rating: 5 stars

Lily, a secretary with a newspaper in 1930s Pennsylvania, gets caught up in the story of a photo taken by young reporter Ellis, who snapped a picture of two boys in front of a For Sale sign. The sign was not for the sale of produce or other items, but for the sale of the two boys, a grim indication of the hardship and privation of the times. Scandalized by the implications, Lily takes the photo to the newspaper editor, who assigns Ellis to write the story behind his revealing photo.

Complications arise about the original two children in Ellis's photo, and Ellis makes do by taking another photo, but of different children. Barely bothered by the lie, Ellis makes a name for himself in the newspaper world with the photo and story and rises rapidly in his career.

Lily,  however, gets involved in sorting out fact from fiction as she later helps Ellis to go after the truth of the four children in the two photos, some of whose lives may have been severely affected by Ellis's photos and newspaper story.

The novel is based on a real life photo and its story of children up for sale in 1948, researched by the author, which became an inspiration for her historical novel, Sold on a Monday. Poverty, desperation, and the plight of poor children during those hard times are among the book's themes. Add to that the investigative skills of Lily and the reporter Ellis, who track the story to its conclusion in a suspenseful and heartfelt plot. Well written and researched, with details that bring the characters and the story to life, Sold on a Monday is a novel I would recommend for history buffs and for those interested in a well told tale. 

Book beginning:
Chapter 1
August 1931
Laurel Township, Pennsylvania
It was their eyes that first drew Ellis in.
Seated on the front porch of a weathered gray farmhouse, among the few homes lining the road surrounded by hayfields, two boys were pitching pebbles at a tin can. Ages six and eight at most, they wore no shoes or shirts. Only patched overalls exposing much of their fair skin tinted by grime and summer son The two had to be brothers.... (from an advanced readers copy; final copy may differ

56 percent: 
...She considered the disparity of fortunes between bankers and too many of their patrons, those with little choice but to live in shantytowns or to beg on the street. 
Thanks to the author and Netflix for an advance readers copy of the book, for review purposes. 

Memes: The Friday 56. Grab a book, turn to page 56 or 56% of your eReader. Find any sentence that grabs you. Post it, and add your URL post in Linky at Freda's Voice. Also visit Book Beginning at Rose City Reader


  1. Oh, this one sounds sooo good! Thanks for sharing...and enjoy your weekend. Here's mine: “MRS.: A NOVEL”

  2. This sounds like an intriguing story. I'm glad you enjoyed it. This week I am featuring Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs - a new one by a favorite author. Happy reading!

  3. This sounds like an excellent story, especially since it is based on real events. I'm looking forward to reading this book.
    My Friday post features Mrs. Polifax Mysteries.

  4. What a heartbreaking plot line. Can you imagine? Selling your children?! Argh. My Friday Quotes

    1. Sadly, this still happens in other countries.

  5. Sounds like a heart-wrenching book, but they are often amazing! Happy weekend!

    1. That these events really happened is astounding!

  6. I've seen this book around. Heart breaking.

  7. Is there any news about Rayanne Mills who's baby was taken from her. Has she found her daughter? I haven't read the book but looking forward to getting it.

  8. I just started reading this book and am on chapter 4. Who is Samuel that Lily mentions on page 25? I couldn’t find him mentioned previously.


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