The cover alone sells this novel. Two little boys dressed in 1930s knickers and caps sit dejected behind a sign that proclaims “For Sale.” The book is set during the 30s, a time of Great Depression in the US, and pointed out a fact I didn’t know. Some families, especially those with many children were desperate enough to sell their kids to needy infertile couples, both of whom were duped by unscrupulous adoption brokers. The scandal and crime involved were a fact of the most unsavory parts of American history.
I particularly like stories about the thirties and forties journalists and newspapers. I was a fan of TMC (Turner Classic Movie Channel,) which showed black and white movies set in newsrooms starring Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, and Jimmy Stewart. Also, I had the pleasure of working with and hearing the stories of a communication professor who was a reporter during this era. He was in his 90s when we were friends. This novel is based on the ethical premise of exploiting a photograph and later an article to sell papers and keep a job in the endangered world of journalism at that time. Lily, who has aspirations of being a real reporter instead of a receptionist and coffee-go for, is torn between her small-time reporter friend, Ellis, who took the photo, and Clayton, the established, well-to-do reporter who can offer a better life for Lily and her secret son. Child labor is another issue of the times that is explored and supported by the buying and selling of children.
This book was a R.A.T (Reading All Together) Pack Book Club selection, and the consensus was that Sold on a Monday was a darned good read.