This beautifully written novel opens with the 1966 mass shooting at the University of Texas, the first on an American college campus. On a sunny August Monday, a student and former marine opened fire on the campus from the iconic clock tower, shooting 48 people and killing 16. But the shooting is only a touchstone for this story, which is more interested in the lives of a trio who met that fateful day.

With her fourth novel, Elizabeth Crook has created a gripping and moving tale of the ensuing lives of one of the victims and the young men who risk getting shot to save her—an action that intertwines their lives forever. “Wyatt rested his face against Shelly’s head. He seemed to be melting into her, but his weight stayed solid against her back. His knees on either side of her walled out the world. His naked arms locked tightly around her. She felt he wouldn’t allow her to die, as if he breathed for them both. . . . Her fear began to drain away.”

It is no surprise that after surviving their ordeal, Wyatt and Shelly feel a deep connection, but Monday, Monday brings other surprises. The book is a complex tale about overcoming fear and the risks and power of love. It is a tale of young love and how it can define our lives—and even the lives of our children. And it is the story of the compromises we all make to get by in this imperfect world.

Part of what makes this book so compelling is the open and tender way each character is honestly but lovingly portrayed. Monday, Monday is a wonderful book that will make you cry, but also uplift you.

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