I really liked this historical novel. It was inspired by a photo that appeared in an Indiana newspaper in 1948. It showed kids on steps with a sign near by indicating they were for sale. A similar photo appears in this novel and sets off events that no one had anticipated.
I like McMorris's writing style. The narrative reads well. The characters are ones I came to care about. I liked Ellis, the one who took the photo, a photo he never intended to see published. When he finds out what he has set in motion, he was determined to set things right. While his initial actions were not quite honorable, he rose to the place of responsibility. His sidekick is Lily. She bares a heavy burden, one that makes her insist she help Ellis set things right.
I like a novel dealing with many issues and this one does. There was the shame of being an unwed mother. There were the desperate conditions of single parents not being able to provide for their children. There is an exploration of how one deals with grief. And perhaps the one that impressed me the most - a single action that might seem harmless at the time can actually set the future course of many people. There is a good Reading Group Guide included so this novel would be a good one for group discussion.
I recommend this novel to readers who like historical fiction dealing with the lives of people during difficult times.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Kristina McMorris is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Her background includes ten years of directing public relations for an international conglomerate as well as extensive television experience. Her novels have garnered twenty national literary awards. She is a frequent guest speaker and workshop presenter. She has a BS in international marketing from Pepperdine. She lives in Oregon with her husband and two sons.
Sourcebooks Landmark, 352 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.