We’ve finished our second Book of the Month! Who read along with us?? Let’s chat about “Sold on a Monday” by Kristina McMorris. (Spoilers ahead!)
This entire story revolves around a picture that journalist Ellis Reed shot one day in 1931. A sign reading, “2 Children for Sale” is the center of attention in the photograph. Kristina McMorris saw a picture similar to the one described in real life of which she based this story around. The “Children for Sale” sign that she saw inspired her to create a narrative of what may have happened to those kids. Thus, Sold on a Monday, was born.
“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.”
A story line set near the beginning of the Great Depression creates the perfect setting for the main characters, Ellis and Lillian, to question their morals, strengths, and everything that they thought they knew to be true in the world. Some time after snapping his first breaking photograph, Ellis finds that the children were actually sold to a banker and his wife. After finding the man who bought the children and deciding that the kids were likely better off than they were with their dying mother, Ellis leaves things alone. However, Lily quickly finds out that the mother has survived and is actually doing quite well. Having a child of her own, Lily makes it her mission to reunite a mother with her boy and girl, no matter the risk.
“There is nothing to fear except the persistent refusal to find out the truth.”
After digging a little deeper Lily finds that the two children weren’t kept together, as the banker’s wife had only wanted a daughter to replace the one she lost. Lily and Ellis stopped at nothing to find the little boy. Jail time, breaking and entering, losing their jobs, making deals with the mob, even staring down the barrel of a gun, nothing was out of the question. Their only concern was reuniting a family that they seemingly tore apart.
“A parent’s protectiveness, it seemed, was a beloved burden with no end.”
Ultimately we were left with a happy ending. Both children were reunified with their mother and we are left to believe that those who treated them poorly were punished appropriately. While the ending seems pretty straight forward, the journey to get there is a long and winding road. The guilt that both Ellis and Lily feel, plus the motherly instincts and determination that Lily exudes are what keep the story going.
“A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed.”
- Historical Fiction
- Adult Fiction
- Great Depression
- GoodReads: 3.87/5
- LibraryThing: 3.77/5
This storyline is likely best suited for someone who enjoys a happy ending. There are times throughout this book that can be hard to handle; Descriptions of child abuse, death, and sickness to name a few. The author did not dwell on these specifics though. There is even a bit of romance included in this story, but it is not the main highlight, it is simply a support. So if you enjoy concise endings, a touch of romance, and family based topics, this might be a great book for you!