A Beautiful Story
Reader reviewed by the book muncher
At only fifteen and a half years old, Ruby Jacinski is forced to take a job at the packinghouses in order to support her family. But even with that job, Rubys family is very poor. Ruby yearns for the time when they didnt live in the Yards, when they had money, when her father was alive. She also wants more freedom from her strict mother. Opportunity comes in the form of bad boy Paulie Suelze. With help from him, Ruby lands a job at a Taxi-Dance Hall, where her wages are much higher than she could ever make at the packinghouse.
At the Starlight, the Taxi-Dance Hall, Ruby manages to make one solid friend, Peggy, whose experience guides Ruby and helps her out of some sticky situations. However, nothing could stop Ruby for falling in love with Paulie. Soon with success at the Starlight and a relationship with Paulie, Ruby finds herself caught up in the dangerous world of money and mobsters. Ruby is constantly torn between her loyalties to her family, her friends, and Paulie as well as her illusion as she struggles to discover what she truly wants in her life.
Ten Cents a Dance was certainly an amazing historical novel. it was placed against the backdrop of World War II, and the wartime atmosphere in America was very well-portrayed. But my favorite aspect of this novel had to be Rubys character. She is such a strong young woman, and even though she made many mistakes, she learned from them. If Ruby were a real person, shed be living evidence of the phrase, what doesnt kill you makes you stronger. On another note, I could Rubys love of dance and music fascinating. I swear, I have a vivid image in my head of Ruby hoofing it. Ruby has definitely won me over with her journey to find herself, and she has become one of my favorite fictional characters.
I think Rubys strength can be an inspiration to all of us, and I whole-heartedly recommend Ten Cents a Dance. Fans of historical fiction novels, such as A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly, as well as coming-of-age stories like I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone by Stephanie Kuehnert will also enjoy this novel.
reposted from http://thebookmuncher.blogspot.com