What I’m Reading: Historical Fiction

Here are two great books about that tumultuous time, the 1940’s.

Ten Cents a Dance by Christine Fletcher
It’s Chicago, 1941 and Ruby Jacinski is oblivious to the talk of war in Europe. She is too worried about paying the rent for her mother and sister; at fifteen Ruby has dropped out of school to support her sick mother and younger sister. When Ruby gets the opportunity to make more money than she ever thought possible, simply by dancing, she can’t believe her luck. Ruby quickly realizes, though, that being a taxi-dancer is not a job for “respectable” girls and she has to hide her other life from her family. Now all Ruby does at her job is dance, the fox-trot, the jitterbug, the waltz, but for a young girl in the 1940’s this is a far cry from being a secretary or telephone operator. And when Ruby falls in love with a boy who imagines himself the next Al Capone, she has more to hide than just dancing.

Pearl Harbor, World War II, Jazz music, segregation and racism, dancing, and organized crime are the backdrop for this amazing novel of a girl struggling to find her place.

What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell
The war is over, the red scare is looming, but for Evie life is about high heels and lipstick. However, while on vacation in Florida, Evie discovers secrets about her family that dramatically change her life. Forced to confront lies surrounding her stepfather’s time fighting in Europe during World War II, her mother’s struggle to support the family while he was away, and her feelings for a handsome ex-GI who seems connected to all of this; Evie becomes tangled in their mystery and must figure out who she can trust.

This National Book Award Winner offers a dark and atmospheric look into American post-WWII.

%d bloggers like this: