Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Dancing for Change

At 15 years old, Ruby has little to look forward to. She's dropped out of school to earn money for her family, working at a slaughterhouse in the Yards of Chicago. But a chance encounter with a aspiring gangster has her trying her luck as a taxi dancer, an elegantly dressed woman who is paid 10 cents per dance to swing around the floor with the men who visit the club.
1940s Chicago comes alive in Christine Fletcher's Ten Cents a Dance. Ruby's struggle to keep her job (considered very disreputable at the time) a secret from her family, her confusing relationship with Paulie the gangster, and the tension between the races makes this story an edge-of-your-seat drama. With great descriptions of the clothes, people and sounds of the time, Ten Cents is a fascinating glimpse into another time and place in American history.

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