Friday, July 22, 2011

Historical Fiction Friday: Review

This one was a very emotional read for me. It is set right before World War II and took me back to a time when my grandmother was young and faced the same problems as Ruby.

Ruby's father died and her mother isn't able to work anymore at the meat packing plant because her fingers are so gnarled with arthritis. Ruby's sister is to young to work so its up to Ruby to drop out of school(something she doesn't want to do, but must) and goes to the same place her mother worked.

The meat packing plant isn't glamorous and it doesn't pay well either. Ruby's family has a lot of debt and she wants to help them. Her need for quick cash lands her in a dance all where she can make money dancing the night away with men she doesn't know.

The money is quick, but the men are quicker, and Ruby finds herself in a lot of trouble. She tries to make the right choices, but things don't always work out. To add to her problems, Ruby is falling in love with an unsavory young man named Paulie. He's an up and coming gangster and has his own set or problems. Ruby's mother is beyond mad, but she doesn't understand that her daughter is in love.

Will Ruby be able to do the right thing, or will the gangster life that was so prevalent in 1940s Chicago claim another victim?

As I said earlier this story drew me in. I could hear my grandmother's stories through Ruby. Just like Ruby my grandmother had to drop out of school because her father died. My grandmother had to earn money to keep her family in a crappy apartment with little heat and little food. The same was for Ruby. This was a very emotional read for me because it connected me with my grandmother a person I miss dearly.


Nina said...

Beautiful cover. When I looked at it I thought it was a vampire novel, but then read the description and thought wow. ;) Sounds really good.

YA Librarian said...

Now that you say that, I can see the vampire cover vibe! :)

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Great review. I'm adding this book to my TBR because I love historical fiction.

Susan said...

Very compelling review. (The cover does seem a bit *off* though. I don't think I would have picked it off the shelf thinking it would be the type of historical fiction you describe.)