Sold on a Monday, by Kristina McMorris

The story:

2 children for sale.

A Depression-era reporter snaps a photo of two children being sold on a farmhouse porch, leading to his big break—and devastating repercussions for everyone involved.

From a reader’s point of view:

I wanted to read the book as soon as I set eyes on the little boy on the cover with its intriguing albeit dreadful title written above him. Without reading the summary I dove right in, only guessing what the book was about…and I wasn’t disappointed.

Based on an actual photograph, the fictionalized infamous story is altogether heart wrenching and heartwarming, and the main characters, Ellis and Lily, full of genuine goodness. And even though I thought that all I wanted to learn about was the children’s fate, and how parents could come to such an unfathomable decision, I was certainly pleased that McMorris had also more in store for the story: the condition of women in a male-dominated era, the ethics in journalism, shattering dreams, or even the way we are quick to judge without knowing all the facts—just like Elliott Erwitt’s quote at the start of Part One: “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.”

From a writer’s point of view:

There’s an old style feel that adds to the setting, makes you almost hear the typewriter as McMorris filled in her pages with words. The book is written with such compassion and ease, it’s beautiful. I was under a spell, and I don’t know which magic trick she pulled, but it worked.

The pace is slow and yet plenty of surprises await—at least if you skimmed over the summary. It transports you straight into that desperate time which was the Great Depression, and before you know it you’ve reached “the end.”

In (almost) 3 words?

A powerful novel of love.