Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Release Day Review: Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Pub. Date: August 28th, 2018
Pages: 352

Genres: Historical Fiction


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


The scrawled sign, peddling young siblings on a farmhouse porch, captures the desperation sweeping the country in 1931. It's an era of breadlines, bank runs, and 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 the image leads to his big break, the consequences are devastating in ways he never imagined.

Haunted by secrets of her own, secretary Lillian Palmer sees more in the picture than a good story and is soon drawn into the fray. Together, the two set out to right a wrongdoing and mend a fractured family, at the risk of everything they value.

Inspired by an actual newspaper photo that stunned readers across the nation, this touching novel explores the tale within the frame and behind the lens -- a journey of ambition, love and the far-reaching effects of our actions.

What Did I Think About the Story?

This is my third Kristina McMorris novel and what I've learned from reading her books is that she can tell one hell of a gripping and heartbending story that involves the innocence of children and some interesting point in history, pulling you in and refusing to let you go until the very end. In this particular story we see the kinds of consequences that can result from what seems an innocent action and the horrific and often cruel things that can be done to people, especially children, when they don't have the resources or abilities to help themselves. It breaks your heart but then stitches it back together with a lovely ending filled with hope for the future. It's simply put a great read!

Sold on a Monday starts with a short chapter taking place after the main events of the story have already unfolded and the life-altering consequences have happened. We don't know exactly who's involved or what exactly happened, but we know it was terrible, causing bodily harm or death to at least one person. One of our main characters, Lily, is going to go back and tell us all the events that led here, all starting with one innocent photo. This beginning had me quickly turning the pages to see what exactly happened and how our characters could have possibly gotten here. The whole story is fully of action and drama, circling back around to this point in time and leaving me feeling quite satisfied with the ending.    

I think my favorite aspect of the story would be learning about this quite unruly time in history and how what was going on in the greater world affected these characters. The year is 1931 and the country is dealing with Prohibition, mobsters, and hard times for many. Children are working dangerous jobs in mines, or ending up in orphanages or being sold when their parents can no longer take care of them for a number of reasons. Worse than that, some children are even being bought to be used as labor, a forced slavery being done "legally" under the guise of adoption, something I did not know had happened. Both our main characters, Lily and Ellis, are trying desperately to keep their jobs and advance in journalism when it's anything but easy to do. And, in Lily's case, she has to also deal with the lack of respect for woman and what they could do that was inherent during this time period. With so little work out there for people they have to do whatever they can to keep their jobs in order to survive. It's both an exciting and a violent time and I very much enjoyed navigating it with these characters.

I don't want to say too much more about the story in particular as not to give it away, but just know that it's touching and sweet and devastating and so many more things. There's a little bit of everything for readers to enjoy - from action to drama to romance to history - and the author even includes an author's note in the back that explains the picture that drove her to write this story. I'm always amazed when I can learn something new when reading historical fiction, especially set so recently in history, and I'm happy to say Kristina McMorris opened my eyes to things that I had no idea were going on. I now want to read more about it and that is always a great sign of a good historical fiction novel. Highly recommend! 

What Did I Think About the Cover?

It's heartbreaking, as is the story. I really think it's a great move to have the face hidden from view, making this young child representative of the unknown many who went through similarly horrible events. It's perfect for this story.

My Rating:4.5/5.0

I won a copy of Sold on a Monday in a giveaway on the author's Facebook page. Thank you, Kristina McMorris! All opinions are mine alone. To find more information about the book, including other reviews and links to where you can purchase a copy, see Goodreads HERE.

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