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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ten Cents a Dance by Christine Fletcher

Title: Ten Cents a Dance
Author: Christine Fletcher
ISBN: 9781599901640
Publisher: Bloomsbury

"Chicago, 1941. When her mother becomes too ill to work, fifteen-year-old Ruby Jacinski is forced to drop out of school to support her family. But her dull factory job makes life feel like one long dead end, until she meets neighborhood bad boy Paulie Suelze. Soon Ruby discovers how to make money - lots of money - while wearing silk and satin and doing what she does best: dancing. Paid ten cents a dance to lead lonely men around a dance hall floor, Ruby thinks she's finally found a way out of Chicago's tenements... until swinging with the hepcats turns into swimming with the sharks.

A mesmerizing look into a little-known world and era, Ruby's story is resplendent with the sounds of great jazz, the allure of beautiful clothing, and the passions of a young generation in a country on the brink of war."

You know... as the summary says, it's an era that's not often written about - in terms of the culture and world outside of the war. But it was an interesting story and I really do wonder how close it is to the reality of life during that time.

One thing that did bother me about the story was the emphasis on money - which I know was tight, but it was hard to think about a dollar being a lot of cash. I do understand that it was a really big deal during that time, there was just a lot of emphasis on it. More than I would have liked, I suppose... but after I got over that part, I did enjoy the story.

I think another interesting part of the story was the look at the "taxi dance halls" - something I didn't really even know existed. The concept makes sense and all... it's just something I hadn't though about before.

I did wish that the main characters were a little different, but that was just because they were a little frustrating. The descisions they made, the ways they dealt with things, etc... but perhaps that's pretty close to reality. I'd recommend this to people who enjoy that part of history. It's a great story - and you truely hope the best for the characters in the end.
Other blog reviews:

Em's Bookshelf
Becky's Book Reviews
Bookshelves of Doom
Teen Book Review

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