Monday’s Not Coming
What would you do if your best friend vanished into thin air and no one seemed to care? That’s the dilemma facing Claudia when she returns from spending the summer with her grandmother in Georgia, only to find that her friend Monday is gone. She and Monday had a deal that they’d write to one another every week and, while Claudia wrote to Monday, her letters went unanswered. Now as the school year starts, Claudia’s concern grows. Where is Monday? And why does everyone around her not seem at all bothered by Monday’s disappearance?
Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson is a true page-turner. I was already hooked by the story in the first chapter and, like Claudia, I was desperate to know where was Monday and what happened to her.
The timeline in the story is not linear, which leads to (intentional?) confusion. Sometimes I wasn’t quite sure where all the pieces of the story fit, but I didn’t want to stop reading. In fact, the confusion was part of what kept me turning pages. I felt as though, like Claudia, I needed to know what happened to Monday.
One of the themes in Monday’s Not Coming is friendship and how well we actually know the people we care about. As the story progresses the reader and Claudia discover how little they know about Monday and what’s been going on in her life. How Jackson reveals this is quite interesting and keeps us on our toes. From pointed asides of acquaintances to outright hostility from Monday’s sister, April, we learn that there were aspects of Monday’s life that she kept well-hidden from her friend Claudia and these discoveries give Claudia moments of doubt. It’s a clever device which Jackson utilizes deftly.
Another interesting theme is urban gentrification and how communities are ripped apart by the move to make areas more “palatable” for whites with money, especially when land is suddenly deemed too attractive or full of potential for the poor minority communities already there. This theme–thee threat of being pushed outcomes across in many ways in Monday’s Not Coming as we see not only the threat of being pushed by gentrification but also from the precarious hierarchy of school and the amorphous bonds of friendship.
The mystery though of what happened to Monday is the story’s elusive and tantalizing core, and it makes for a clever and interesting read. I did stumble however near the end when a plot point seemed to come out of left field and reminded me a little too much of Dennis Lehane’s Shutter Island. That being said, I enjoyed reading Monday’s Not Coming and the story has given me a book hangover in the best possible way.
My rating? 4 out 5 stars
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