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Monday, Monday: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Elizabeth Crook
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $26.00
Kindle Price: $11.04
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Sold by: Macmillan

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Book Description

In this gripping, emotionally charged novel, a tragedy in Texas changes the course of three lives

On an oppressively hot Monday in August of 1966, a student and former marine named Charles Whitman hauled a footlocker of guns to the top of the University of Texas tower and began firing on pedestrians below. Before it was over, sixteen people had been killed and thirty-two wounded. It was the first mass shooting of civilians on a campus in American history.

Monday, Monday follows three students caught up in the massacre: Shelly, who leaves her math class and walks directly into the path of the bullets, and two cousins, Wyatt and Jack, who heroically rush from their classrooms to help the victims. On this searing day, a relationship begins that will eventually entangle these three young people in a forbidden love affair, an illicit pregnancy, and a vow of secrecy that will span forty years. Reunited decades after the tragedy, they will be forced to confront the event that changed their lives and that has silently and persistently ruled the lives of their children.With electrifying storytelling and the powerful sense of destiny found in Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto, and with the epic sweep of Jess Walter’s Beautiful Ruins, Elizabeth Crook’s Monday, Monday explores the ways in which we sustain ourselves and one another when the unthinkable happens. At its core, it is the story of a woman determined to make peace with herself, with the people she loves, and with a history that will not let her go. A humane treatment of a national tragedy, it marks a generous and thrilling new direction for a gifted American writer.

Editorial Reviews


"This is a vivid portrayal of resolve in the face of great tragedy." —Booklist

"Framing a story in the context of calamity—in this instance, mass murder—invites both sensationalism and sentimentality; there have been few memorable successes, Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Wally Lamb’s The Hour I First Believed among them. Add Crook’s latest to the plus side of the list….confident and lyrical as it smartly engages terror and its aftermath." —Kirkus (starred review)

"[An] intensely imagined novel. . . The story unfurls simply and smoothly, with a quiet insistence much like the path the characters will take. Crook renders Shelly’s interior life delicately and fully, and artfully conveys her many moments of panic and anguish." —Publishers Weekly


"This rapturous novel starts with one of the most heinous shootings in history, yet every page shines with life. Crook follows three students who endured the tragedy as they grapple with the past, struggle to navigate their futures, and discover that who and what saves us is nothing like what you imagine. Brilliantly realized and so vivid the novel seems to virtually breathe, Monday, Monday is a stunning achievement."—CAROLINE LEAVITT, New York Times bestselling author of Is This Tomorrow and Pictures of You

"Elizabeth Crook has written an extraordinary novel—an eloquent love story born from an act of random violence, a tale of destruction and redemption. It’s about making a whole life out of a damaged one, and about holding on and letting go. The characters are as real as people you know; their story is subtle, startling, and wise."—SARAH BIRD, author of The Yokota Officers Club and Above the East China Sea

"Monday, Monday begins by throwing us into the midst of one of the worst mass murders in American history, a scene painted with such harrowing exactitude that it leaves you wondering how the characters can possibly survive and how the author can possibly sustain such a high level of narrative momentum and emotional insight. And yet Elizabeth Crook pulls it off. This is a brilliant and beautiful book."—STEPHEN HARRIGAN, author of The Gates of the Alamo and Remember Ben Clayton "In Monday, Monday, Elizabeth Crook uses vivid, gripping prose and in-depth historical research to shed light on one of the darkest moments in Texas history... by detailing the fictional lives of three survivors caught in the crosshairs." —The Rivard Report

About the Author

Elizabeth Crook is the author of three previous novels. Her most recent, The Night Journal, won a Spur Award from Western Writers of America and a WILLA Literary Award from Women Writing the West. She has written for magazines and periodicals, including Texas Monthly and the Southwestern Historical Quarterly. She lives in Austin with her family.

Product Details

  • File Size: 859 KB
  • Print Length: 353 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0374228825
  • Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books (April 29, 2014)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,242 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Resilience February 9, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
MONDAY, MONDAY by Elizabeth Crook says right on the cover, "a novel." So I don't know why I expected a sort of true-crime look at the Texas Tower shooter of 1966.

The first chapter opens with the shooting, with the focus on three specific victims. As the story progresses, we are swept into Shelly's life. She has survived the shooting, but she has been physically and emotionally changed by the event. Her rescuers, Wyatt and Jack,are also forever changed.

We follow these three as they move through their lives, post-trauma. It is hard to throw off the nightmares caused by that day. It is hard to trust others to talk to freely. It is hard to be around people who don't know whether to mention the shooting or pretend it didn't happen.

Years go by. A love affair begins. A love affair ends. But a baby is born. She means the world to her adoptive parents. She means the world to the mother who decided to give her away. More years pass, and there are highs and lows, doubts, recriminations, what if's. Crook takes us into the heart of not only the three main characters but of the ancillary characters as well. Secrets beget distrust. Wyatt, Jack, and Shelly find that keeping mum about their lives does not work very well when the new generation begins asking questions.

Elizabeth Crook makes every incident and every moment fraught with emotion. The characters do enjoy happy times, but they carry a burden of survivor's guilt and a burden of their own decisions about their lives.

MONDAY, MONDAY is a page-turner with an inciting incident drenched in blood and pain. The books tells truths of the human condition without putting rose-colored glasses on the reader's perceptions. A deeply felt and amazing read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I Remember the Shooting .... April 22, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
MINOR SPOILER I think "Monday Monday" has a great deal to offer readers -- even the ones who are not old enough to remember the day that Charles Whitman climbed to the top of the Tower at the University of Texas at Austin and shot 17 people to death. As the front piece in the ARC I read remind us, it was the first mass shooting at a campus in our history. Now, unfortunately, school shootings all the way down to the elementary school level have become more and more common, but they still have the power to shock and horrify us.

In her novel about the shooting and its aftermath, author Elizabeth Crook follows the lives of three students who survive and whose lives are forever complicated over a 40 year period. Shelly, Wyatt, and Jack (the latter two being cousins) go though many life-altering events, including an unwanted pregnancy that estranges Shelly from her parents and complicates the relationship with the two cousins. The dialog is well written and realistic, as are descriptive passages, particularly the shooting itself.

The voices of the characters can be heard clearly and they are true individuals, and not just place holders in the story. At the end, without giving the resolution of the threads of the story away, Shelly goes back to the University and spends time musing about the day that everything changed for her, Wyatt, Jack, the 17 dead and the 32 wounded, and Whitman himself. Taken with the rest of the story, it is a resolution of sorts where Shelly makes a type of peace with her past. Very touching, and it reminds us that years later these types of acts still resonate with the survivors.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Account of a Mass Shooting May 19, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
With all of the mass shootings which have occurred within the last few years, many do not remember the massacre which took place in August, 1961 when Charles Whitman, a former Marine, stood at the top of the University of Texas Tower and started to shoot at those below. When he finished, there were 16 people dead and 32 wounded.

This fictional account of the tragedy follows the lives of three of the victims: Shelly, an average girl who was shot while going to a drugstore and two cousins, Jack and Wyatt, who rushed to save her, Jack being seriously injured. Their emotional and physical lives are forever linked over a 40 year span including happiness, tragedy and secrets. The book has an incredible amount of detail and the research makes Texas "come alive." I would recommend this to those who enjoy historical fiction.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
On August 1, 1966, on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin, Charles Whitman, a disenfranchised student, has taken a footlocker of weapons up to the top of the main tower. He starts shooting anything and everything in sight. Seventeen students are killed and thirty-two injured before Whitman himself is killed. MONDAY, MONDAY is an account of that dreadful day through the eyes of three fictional students, Shelly, Wyatt, and Jack.

All three of these young people are in class or leaving class when the shooting begins. Shelly, leaving a math class, is among the injured, and Wyatt, after phoning his wife to tell her to stay at the Sears where she works, attempts to come to Shelly’s aid. All three survive, though they bear physical and emotional scars.

Months, then about forty years pass. There is an illicit love affair and much more. Many of these incidents might be expected after such a long time, but I never grew bored with this book. I wanted to keep reading to see what would become of these people as they grew older and tried to look past this incident.

I also give kudos to Crook’s knowledge of Texas, particularly Austin. She definitely knows Austin very well, and even points out, through the story, the changes that take place over the years on the UT campus and in Austin itself.

But it isn’t just the immediate Austin area that Crook handles well. Our protagonists are from towns near Austin (Shelly is from Lockhart) and work in other towns in Texas during breaks from college and after college. They meet again in a dusty west Texas town. Crook paints a strong picture of each place she wants her characters to be.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars The story is compelling so I wanted to keep reading ...
The story is compelling so I wanted to keep reading to find out what happens. I'm sure a lot of research went into this. Read more
Published 1 day ago by cooking
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent must read!
It has been a few months since I have found a book that I could not put down but didn't want to end until Monday Monday. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Shannon Hicks
4.0 out of 5 stars For Austin Novel Readers
This is interesting if you are from Austin or nearby. The writing is good , the story good but I can't help but feel it is more for Central Texans as there are many, many... Read more
Published 28 days ago by veronica c logue
4.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant surprise
What a pleasant surprise this book was! I am not going to lie and not say that after reading the blurb on this book, I wasn't a little apprehensive. Read more
Published 1 month ago by avid reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Good story that is well written with a nice mixture ...
Good story that is well written with a nice mixture or fact and fiction. I went to UT which is why the book caught my attention.
Published 1 month ago by BrendaH
2.0 out of 5 stars the early detailed descriptions were good but it turned into another...
the early detailed descriptions were good but it turned into another formula love triangle story. I didn't finish it though.
Published 1 month ago by Sally Martin
4.0 out of 5 stars The power of a shared trauma
Ever since I read and loved Ariel Lawhon’s The Wife, The Maid, and The Mistress, I’ve been drawn to “fiction based on true crime” novels. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Sarah's Book Shelves
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!
Fascinating story beautifully written.
Published 1 month ago by Ann P. Sale
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing journey of three individuals after the Charles Whitman's...
Thomas Eugene Robbins, an American author has quoted about killing as:

“There are many things worth living for, a few things worth dying for, and nothing worth killing... Read more
Published 1 month ago by ADITI SAHA
5.0 out of 5 stars Tragic shooting on a university campus and the lives it affected.
Enjoyed the book very much. Elizabeth Crook grew up in my hometown and she mentions many locations in the book that I am familiar with. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Carol Osterman
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More About the Author

Elizabeth Crook was born in Houston in 1959 and lived in Nacogdoches and then San Marcos, Texas with her parents and brother and sister until 1966 when the family moved to Washington D.C., where her father was director of VISTA for Lyndon Johnson. Two years later her father was appointed Ambassador to Australia and the family moved to Canberra. When they returned to Texas Elizabeth attended public schools in San Marcos, graduating from San Marcos High School in 1977. She attended Baylor University for two years and graduated from Rice University in 1982. She has written four novels: The Raven's Bride and Promised Lands were published by Doubleday and then reissued by SMU Press as part of the Southwest Life and Letters series. The Night Journal was published by Viking/Penguin in 2006 and reissued in paperback by Penguin. Monday, Monday is scheduled for release by Sarah Crichton Books, FSG, in April 2014. Elizabeth has written for periodicals such as Texas Monthly and the Southwestern Historical Quarterly and has served on the council of the Texas Institute of Letters. She is a member of Women Writing the West, Western Writers of America and The Texas Philosophical Society, and was selected the honored writer for 2006 Texas Writers' Month. Her first novel, The Raven's Bride, was the 2006 Texas Reads: One Book One Texas selection. The Night Journal was awarded the 2007 Spur award for Best Long Novel of the West and the 2007 Willa Literary Award for Historical Fiction.
Elizabeth currently lives in Austin with her husband and two children, where she serves on the board of The Texas Book Festival. Visit her website at

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