The novel is considered fiction, but the story is based on a true story that takes place in Chicago 1941. The exact location takes place on the South side of Chicago were the stock yards use to be located. People live in cheap apartments that were close to the stockyards. They(the apartments) were like low income tenements. The families lived in tightly knit apartments that were very crowded.
Ruby is the main character of the novel, who does not finish High School. Ruby decides to work in a factory. After a while she becomes very bored, and finds the job repetitious. She quits this job, and looks for a new position. Ruby is seventeen years old, and quite attractive, but a bit immature.
Ruby learns from the neighborhood girls about a job opportunity at night, where you dance charging 10 cents a customer, who dances with you. Some customers, the men also give, a tip to their dance partners. Ruby always received a lot of tips, which helped her buy fancy dresses for dancing.
Ruby's Mother was ill, and could not work. Ruby had a younger sister called Betty. Soon Ruby had a step-father that she respected, and he helped Ruby not financially, but in general. The story goes on, and Ruby is disappointed, because Ozzie does not marry her. There are many intrigues that I will skip. The novel was fascinating, and at the same time Historical. Good for High School readers.