I first read and reviewed Ten Cents A Dance in November 2008. It was almost love. I loved the idea of loving it. I loved the setting: Chicago 1941-1942, both BEFORE and AFTER Pearl Harbor. It is narrated by Ruby Jacinski, our heroine. Ruby may not always make the best choices, the wisest in the long-term choices, but she's got gumption and fight in her.
Ruby is exhausted and frustrated by poverty. Even if she were to get a "nice" job in the meat-packing factory, she would still stink at the end of the day. And Ruby, though pretty, is feisty. (Her "nice" job in bacon didn't last long.) She IS the earner in her family; after her mother lost her job, Ruby dropped out of school and got a job.
In the opening chapters, readers see just how feisty Ruby is. Fights just seem to find her. And the opening fight, well, it just happens to bring her to the attention of a gangster-wanna-be, Paulie Suelze. He just happens to mention HOW she can earn some real money doing something she loves: dancing. He tells her of how she could be bringing home fifty dollars a week instead of ten. He tells her exactly where to go.
Ruby goes for it. It opens up a whole new world for her: for better or worse...nothing is the same after she starts working...
Ruth Etting singing "Ten Cents A Dance." Doris Day singing "Ten Cents A Dance." There is also a movie with this name from 1931.
© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews