Book Review | Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris

20 December 2019

Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris is a book based on a true story. It follows an up-and-coming journalist in the 1930's who inadvertently takes a picture of two kids who are waiting to be sold by their parents, and the unintended after effects the photo has on the characters and community after it's published in the newspaper. Set during the hardships of the Great Depression, this book explores the great lengths people will take to try to give their children a hope for a better future.

This book was pressed into my hands by a family member when I was home for Thanksgiving. I had never heard of this one before, and I probably would never have picked it up otherwise. But it immediately jumped to the top of my to-be-read pile when it was given to me. It just makes me excited when the people in my life recognize how I love reading and pass on their favorites to hear my thoughts on them.

This is a relatively short book with writing that's extremely accessible and easy to read. If I didn't have school to study for I definitely could have finished this one in just a couple days. It is also pretty fast paced, which keeps the reader turning pages.

The plot very loosely follows the true story. I could tell that the author took liberties to make the story her own, which I didn't mind at all. I liked the plot. There were so many twists that I didn't see coming and that kept me invested as I read, which is always a good thing. I read a lot of historical fiction, and not a lot of the plots tend to surprise me. So I was able to really appreciate what this book was trying to do.

Another thing I liked was the setting. I feel like the Great Depression is a time that is sorely lacking in good representation in historical fiction. I have heard of very few good books set during this time, and it was refreshing to read about in this story. It specifically has a great, unique look at the world of journalism specifically in the 1930's that was fascinating to me as I have studied a lot of journalism as a Communication major. It was interesting, and I'm definitely going to be looking into more Great Depression books in the future.

Besides the plot and setting, the thing I found the most lacking in this book was the characterization. This book switches perspectives between Lily, a woman with a secret who works at the newspaper office as an assistant or receptionist for the editor, and Ellis, the reporter who snaps the picture of the children for sale. Unfortunately I found both of these characters to be bland, and I found Ellis in particular to be nothing more than a blundering idiot.

He did so many things that were wrong from an ethical standpoint as a journalist, and he created a mess. I understand his mistakes were meant to move the plot along, but when they were obviously dumb things and were easily avoidable, it made it difficult for me to appreciate his character and what he was trying to do.

Part of my problem with the characters was the way they were written. The writing was decent, but a little bit clunky and in need of polishing in my opinion. It was fine for the overall story, but the characters felt distant to me. I never felt like I was invested in them or understood their motivations or what they were truly feeling when bad things happened.

I loved the overall plot of this book and appreciated the setting, but for me it was just okay. It was good for what it was, but there is definite room for improvement. I would highly recommend this book, though for someone who wants a place to begin reading historical fiction, or someone who is younger who wants to get into reading more adult novels.

Rating: ★
"Sometimes he wondered what else he'd sold on that Monday. His principles? His integrity?"-- Kristina McMorris, Sold on a Monday


  1. “ It just makes me excited when the people in my life recognize how I love reading and pass on their favorites to hear my thoughts on them.” << I agree with you SO much on this! It makes my day when family members recommend a book to me 😊

    I definitely haven’t seen a lot of historical fiction set during the Great Depression, so this seems like a unique novel! Your review is so well-thought out 💕

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed my review! If you pick this up I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on it!