Book Review: Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris


Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris

Sourcebooks Landmark (August 28, 2018)

Historical Fiction/Women’s Fiction/Family Life Fiction



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.

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.



An unforgettable novel by Kristina McMorris, inspired by a stunning piece of history.



“It started with a picture.”

Sold on a Monday is a very emotional, powerful story set during the Great Depression. On a quest to right a wrong, the two main characters work together while battling their own, independent shame and guilt. Developed characters, good writing flow, layers of emotions, and well described scenes that give you a sense of the desperation of the time. I was engrossed in this revealing, powerful, and heartbreaking story that was inspired by an actual newspaper photo. This is a read that has stayed with me. While set in 1931, you can see similarities of current days economic struggles of single parents and/or immigrants that have been separated from their families. A very impactful story that is one of my favorite reads of the year.

Reviewed by Comfy Chair Books /Lisa Reigel  (November 10, 2020)

Local book club monthly pick for November 2020.


“The sale of two young children leads to devastating consequences in this historical tearjerker from McMorris… A tender love story enriches a complex plot, giving readers a story with grit, substance, and rich historical detail.”

Publishers Weekly



McMorrisKRISTINA MCMORRIS is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Her novels have garnered more than two dozen literary awards and nominations, including the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, RWA’s RITA Award, and a Goodreads Choice Award for Best Historical Fiction. Inspired by true personal and historical accounts, her works of fiction have been published by Sourcebooks Landmark, Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, and Kensington Books.

Kristina’s latest novel, the acclaimed bestseller SOLD ON A MONDAY, follows her widely praised THE EDGE OF LOST, THE PIECES WE KEEP, BRIDGE OF SCARLET LEAVES, and LETTERS FROM HOME, in addition to her novellas in the anthologies A WINTER WONDERLAND and GRAND CENTRAL. Prior to her writing career, she hosted weekly TV shows since age nine, including an Emmy Award-winning program. She lives with her husband and two sons in Oregon, where she is working on her next novel. For more, visit


Sold on a Monday


Outside the guarded entrance, reporters circled like a pack of wolves. They wanted names and locations, any links to the Mob, every newsworthy detail for tomorrow’s front page.

The irony wasn’t lost on me.

In the hospital waiting area, on the same chair for hours, I raised my head when a doctor appeared. He spoke to a nurse in a hushed tone. His full mustache, peppered like his temples, vibrated with his words. My shoulders coiled into springs as I searched for a look, a suggestion of the worst. Tension heightened around me from others fearing the same. The sudden quiet was deafening. But then the doctor resumed his strides, his footfalls fading around the corner. Once more I sank into my seat.

The air reeked of disinfectant, bleach and the cigarettes of nervous smokers. From the tiled floor came a shrill scrape, a chair being dragged in my direction. Tiny hairs rose on the back of my neck from more than the sound. Upon learning of my involvement, an officer had warned me a detective would soon be here to talk.

That man now sat down to face me.

“Good afternoon.” He removed his brimmed hat, an act of casualness, and rested it on his lap. From his pin-striped suit and tidy haircut to his perfect white teeth, he was a recruitment poster for J. Edgar Hoover.

I didn’t catch his name or the formalities of his introduction—my mind was muddled from waves of worry and lack of sleep. But I could guess what information he wanted. No different from the journalists amassing on the street, ever eager to pry. Hungry for answers I hadn’t fully grasped.

If only I could escape—from this place and moment in time. How nice it would be to leap forward by a week, a month. The unseemly rumors would have long been buried, the puddles of blood mopped clean, the outcome of this day endured. I envisioned myself then in a dim corner of a café, being interviewed by a young reporter over coffee. His fresh-faced zeal would remind me of the person I once was, back when I first moved to the city, convinced that enough aspirations and success would crowd out the darkness of my past. The sense of not being worthy.

“What a relief,” he would say, “that everything turned out fine.”

For some, of course. Not all.

Then I heard “Can you tell me how it all started?” The reporter in my head blended with the detective before me. I wasn’t entirely sure which of them had asked. And yet, as if through a lens, I suddenly viewed the past year with astounding clarity, saw the interwoven paths that had delivered each of us here. Every step a domino essential to knocking over the next.

With no small amount of regret, I nodded at him slowly, remembering as I replied.

“It started with a picture.”


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