Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris came as a wonderful surprise for me. For some reason I think I selected it based on the cover and assumed that it was non-fiction, a recount of how dire times were during the Great Depression. Instead, to my delight, when I started reading the book I realized that it was actually a beautiful work of historical fiction, set in and around the newsrooms of Philadelphia and New York City in 1931.
Needless to say I couldn’t put it down.
Sold on a Monday starts with a picture on a porch, a mishandled moment by a reporter looking for a better gig, and a female secretary who thinks the world needs to see the realities of the country they live in. This photo takes us on a journey through the lives of reporters, single mothers, families living in poverty, fast-paced newsrooms, encounters with the Mob, and the huge disparities between the rich and the poor in the US in the early 1930’s.
McMorris weaves together a heartbreaking tale of what would lead a mother to sell her children, a chain of events that starts with a simple photo. I felt like I plunged into the streets of Philadelphia and NYC, walking alongside the characters Ellis and Lily as they work on fixing the events that they caused. McMorris does a wonderful job of setting the scene in the 1930’s without overwhelming us with details - her focus on developing the wonderful characters seamlessly in a setting that we can easily imagine ourselves in is just fantastic. I highly recommend this novel it’s a brilliant read. I’m going to check out McMorris’ other work now as I’m a huge fan of historical fiction. And I’m so glad that I chose this book solely based on the cover, as it was such a delightful surprise to read it!
Sold on a Monday will be published by Sourcebooks on August 28, 2018. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the advance copy!