Sold on a Monday

Sold on a Monday takes readers on a poignant journey back to 1931 Philadelphia, a time marked by widespread unemployment, bank runs, hunger, and despair. During this hardship, struggling reporter Ellis Reed stumbles upon a heart-wrenching scene—two young siblings on a farmhouse porch next to a sign that reads: 2 CHILDREN FOR SALE.

Ellis captures a photo, meant for his eyes only, but his editor unexpectedly publishes it. The repercussions are devastating, pulling in the editor’s secretary, Lillian Palmer, who sees more than just a story in the image. As Ellis and Lillian become romantically involved, they embark on a journey to right the wrongs caused by the photo and mend a fractured family.

I couldn’t help thinking about my grandfather while I read this book. In 1909, his father relinquished him following the death of his mother. He was just eight years old and never attended school. It also reminded me of my mom growing up on a farm in North Dakota during the Great Depression and the homeless men who knocked on my grandparents’ kitchen door hoping for a hot meal and a place to sleep.

McMorris’ skill storytelling is captivating. She masterfully crafts a vivid cast of characters, and the plot is both heart-wrenching and honest. The author’s portrayal of Depression-era Pennsylvania is immersive, making me feel the desperation that permeated the lives of so many during that time.

Sold on a Monday was inspired by an actual newspaper photo that stunned readers across the nation. If you’d like to see the photo, follow this link. Warning: the true story is disturbing.

4 stars.

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