Christine Fletcher's novel about a taxi dancer during World War II is both painful and compelling. Ruby Jacinski is only fifteen when she drops out of school to work in a meat-packing plant so that her family can survive. When Ruby sees the chance to escape bottling pickled pigs feet she jumps at it. She signs on at the Starlight Dance Academy where men pay ten cents for a dance with one of the "instructors." As Ruby enters the world of dancing, music, men, favors, and corruption, she must decide if the things she wants are worth the price she must pay to have them.
Ruby seems like a very real girl. Her naivety about the wider world is sad but makes her character feel honest. She makes some horrible decisions but somehow her heart seems to be in the right place.