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The Girl in the Jitterbug Dress: WWII Historical and Contemporary Romance

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~ The past doesn't always stay in the past. Sometimes it comes to life on the dance floor ~  Enter a world of nostalgic fashion, classic cocktails, and dance halls. 18-year-old June finds herself face to face with one of her deepest desires. Dance. She embarks on a path of discovery and relishes the vintage skirt wrapping around her warm thighs on the crowded dance ~ The past doesn't always stay in the past. Sometimes it comes to life on the dance floor ~  Enter a world of nostalgic fashion, classic cocktails, and dance halls. 18-year-old June finds herself face to face with one of her deepest desires. Dance. She embarks on a path of discovery and relishes the vintage skirt wrapping around her warm thighs on the crowded dance floor. And the way her partner moves her to distraction by expertly shifting his leg between hers, delicately pushing her into intricately guided steps.  When an accomplished dancer is injured before the international jitterbug contest, June is tapped to take her place. June struggles to overcome her fears, win the contest, and not fall in love with her—otherwise engaged—dance partner. Fifty years earlier, another 18-year-old jitterbug, Violet, leads the life June and her friends emulate. But Violet's life begins to unravel when she and her sailor beau find her grifting father passed out on her doorstep, blood oozing from his head. They race against his deployment to tie the knot before the war can tear them apart. When his letters mysteriously stop arriving, Violet is forced to make the decision of a lifetime alone.Half a century later, while practicing for the contest, June finds an antique dress which may lead her to the one person she's been looking for, her biological grandmother, and the key to unlocking a fifty year-old mystery.  THE GIRL IN THE JITTERBUG DRESS is the parallel story of two young women struggling with love, loss, and redemption, united across generations by a 1940's swing dress. 


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~ The past doesn't always stay in the past. Sometimes it comes to life on the dance floor ~  Enter a world of nostalgic fashion, classic cocktails, and dance halls. 18-year-old June finds herself face to face with one of her deepest desires. Dance. She embarks on a path of discovery and relishes the vintage skirt wrapping around her warm thighs on the crowded dance ~ The past doesn't always stay in the past. Sometimes it comes to life on the dance floor ~  Enter a world of nostalgic fashion, classic cocktails, and dance halls. 18-year-old June finds herself face to face with one of her deepest desires. Dance. She embarks on a path of discovery and relishes the vintage skirt wrapping around her warm thighs on the crowded dance floor. And the way her partner moves her to distraction by expertly shifting his leg between hers, delicately pushing her into intricately guided steps.  When an accomplished dancer is injured before the international jitterbug contest, June is tapped to take her place. June struggles to overcome her fears, win the contest, and not fall in love with her—otherwise engaged—dance partner. Fifty years earlier, another 18-year-old jitterbug, Violet, leads the life June and her friends emulate. But Violet's life begins to unravel when she and her sailor beau find her grifting father passed out on her doorstep, blood oozing from his head. They race against his deployment to tie the knot before the war can tear them apart. When his letters mysteriously stop arriving, Violet is forced to make the decision of a lifetime alone.Half a century later, while practicing for the contest, June finds an antique dress which may lead her to the one person she's been looking for, her biological grandmother, and the key to unlocking a fifty year-old mystery.  THE GIRL IN THE JITTERBUG DRESS is the parallel story of two young women struggling with love, loss, and redemption, united across generations by a 1940's swing dress. 

48 review for The Girl in the Jitterbug Dress: WWII Historical and Contemporary Romance

  1. 5 out of 5

    Meghan Redmile

    It's been about a week since I finished the novel and had some time to collect all my thoughts and feelings over it. I absolutely loved it! Sometimes it takes me awhile to get into a book or some cases I put them down and give up completely after only a chapter or two from them not pulling me into the story, this one did just the opposite. I read on my lunch hours at work and sometimes brought it home with me on weekends to get through another chapter. I am a big 1930s, 1940s and 1950s fan and any It's been about a week since I finished the novel and had some time to collect all my thoughts and feelings over it. I absolutely loved it! Sometimes it takes me awhile to get into a book or some cases I put them down and give up completely after only a chapter or two from them not pulling me into the story, this one did just the opposite. I read on my lunch hours at work and sometimes brought it home with me on weekends to get through another chapter. I am a big 1930s, 1940s and 1950s fan and anytime I come across a book in these decades I take the plunge and have the author whisk me away to a bygone era. This novel was such a pleasure to read, Tam Francis, the author made it so easy for the reader to envision everything from the dance halls, the clothing the characters wore to the raw emotions. I have never once read a book where it made me want to look up dance lessons in my area, because of the way she wrote about the character's experience while dancing. This novel is full of emotions and takes you for quite the ride. I saw myself in June sometimes, throughout the novel struggling with her own fears, putting herself out in a big scary world she doesn't know much of but sticks with it and experiences so much that fills her life and makes her the woman she becomes by the end of the novel. Violet and Chas' love story will pull you in, make your heart ache then have you begging for more. Tam Francis will whisk you away to the 1940s and have you live the struggles and triumphs of the two love birds. Other characters of the novel will have you adoring them, rolling your eyes at others and cheering others on. Each chapter is titled after a song from each decade, the 1940s vs. 1990s, I caught myself putting the book down to look up a song and getting songs I already knew stuck in my head as I started the chapter. Tam Francis has done her research on all parts in her novel, from slangs, clothing, songs, sewing, cocktails and the Navy as her husband serves in the US Navy. So I encourage you to step back into time and throw youself back and forth from the 1940s and 1990s and buy this book,. If you're anything like me the book is available in paperback from amazon and for all you readers holding your kindle she has it available for download as well. She is also in the works of getting the sequel edited and printed so stay tuned for the 2nd novel to The Girl in the Jitterbug Dress!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Renee

    Ever since I took up swing dancing in 2000, I've been on the lookout for swing dancing in a novel. After years of not being able to find any, I decided to write the book I wanted to read (It Don't Mean a Thing). It seems Tam decided to write the book I wanted to read too! Whereas my story is contemporary, The Girl in the Jitterbug Dress is dual narrative between the 1940s and 1990s. I loved both the storylines and enjoyed seeing how they fit together. I related to June and her excitement at disc Ever since I took up swing dancing in 2000, I've been on the lookout for swing dancing in a novel. After years of not being able to find any, I decided to write the book I wanted to read (It Don't Mean a Thing). It seems Tam decided to write the book I wanted to read too! Whereas my story is contemporary, The Girl in the Jitterbug Dress is dual narrative between the 1940s and 1990s. I loved both the storylines and enjoyed seeing how they fit together. I related to June and her excitement at discovering the swing dance subculture in the USA, it was very similar to many of my experiences in Australia in the 2000s. I loved Violet's story and the insight into life in the 40s. Both storylines felt realistic and were emotionally engaging (yes, emotionally engaging is code for I giggled and maybe cried, just a bit...) One of the storylines was tied up nicely at the end, but the other storyline has left me hanging for the sequel. I can't wait to read book 2. I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    So I picked this book up a library book sale. I had never heard of it or the author but the blurb on the back sounded interesting so I decided to give it a try. I was surprised to discover it was an autographed copy. Neat! The story was told in alternating perspectives, switching between 18 year olds June in the 1990s and Violet in the 1940s. Both are obsessed with swing. Both fall in love with the Jitterbug dress. Both have mysterious family situations that to me weren’t really explored satisfac So I picked this book up a library book sale. I had never heard of it or the author but the blurb on the back sounded interesting so I decided to give it a try. I was surprised to discover it was an autographed copy. Neat! The story was told in alternating perspectives, switching between 18 year olds June in the 1990s and Violet in the 1940s. Both are obsessed with swing. Both fall in love with the Jitterbug dress. Both have mysterious family situations that to me weren’t really explored satisfactorily. In Violet’s story there is a lot of 1940s slang. At first it was cute. Then it got a little annoying. Luckily the author has a glossary on her website. During one reading it felt like I had to look up every other word. There were also a lot of descriptions of dancing. I am not a dancer and I didn’t see any of those terms on the website. I can tell the author has a passion for the era and swing dancing and has done a lot of research. But for someone unfamiliar with swing dancing, it was just a little much. I don’t understand the beginning of June’s story. She could just as easily have fallen in love with swing dancing in San Diego and skipped the Phoenix part of her story, like her freaking out about whether she would get to graduate early. It didn’t add anything to the story and I kept waiting for those parts to become relevant. They didn’t. Overall, I enjoyed the plot. I love stories told in alternating perspectives and I eagerly read to discover how these characters’ lives intersected. Fans of swing dancing will probably get more out of this though than I did.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Ferrier

    I adore this book!! The story sucks you in and keeps your guessing the whole way through!! ❤️❤️

  5. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    I tried to like the book, but I couldn't. I happen to be a swing dancer (In fact, I found out about the book from swing-related groups), so I consider myself a little more "in the know" with regards to descriptions of the dance, the scene, and the sub-cultures surrounding swing dancing. I personally find the detailed depictions of dance scenes somewhat enjoyable, but I wonder if a non-dancer, without knowing the dance terminology (swing-out, circles, kick-ball-change, etc.), can imagine the dances I tried to like the book, but I couldn't. I happen to be a swing dancer (In fact, I found out about the book from swing-related groups), so I consider myself a little more "in the know" with regards to descriptions of the dance, the scene, and the sub-cultures surrounding swing dancing. I personally find the detailed depictions of dance scenes somewhat enjoyable, but I wonder if a non-dancer, without knowing the dance terminology (swing-out, circles, kick-ball-change, etc.), can imagine the dances as well as I do. I'm not a fan of the plot at all though. I feel like the story line is unclear, filled with unnecessary detours that did not contribute to the main story (such as June's problem with her high school credits, the book need not include that). There are parts that seem to be building up and can be important (June's panic attacks, and the whole Vertie character) only for them to amount to nothing and to be disappointingly resolved much later in the book in a few mere pages. As a story, it's realistic, in that real life is also full of many unexpected and unrelated twists and side stories. But as a book plot, it's just muddy. The plot is also fairly predictable. Rant about June: (view spoiler)[ It's extremely obvious to readers that James and June have mutual interest romantically. But June just kept commenting on James "acting weird" without figuring out that he was struggling with himself on whether to kiss June or not, and it happened MULTIPLE times in the book. It's infuriating to read. (hide spoiler)] Also, for a book with a few feminist undertones (there are mentions of issues such as women's appearances and being under the gaze, and WWII giving women opportunities to work), the women sure play very passive roles in romance. Every time there's a romantic scene between (view spoiler)[ Violet and Charles (hide spoiler)] , it's all "he" did something, "his hands", "his lips", "his tongue", etc. And she is mostly just passively "feeling" this and that. I understand that it might not be historically accurate for "her" to be more active in physical romance, but I don't like it. Also, I spotted a handful of typos in the book. The editing really could be better.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    Historical fiction treasure! Fans of historical fiction will delight in The Girl in the Jitterbug Dress - part historical fiction, part romance story, part amazing escape into the past, author Tam Francis pays homage to both the past and present in this great first novel centered around WWII, swing dancing, first lives and vintage living!

  7. 4 out of 5

    RicDerr(Main)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jami Derr

  9. 4 out of 5

    Erin

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jolene Kiser

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Davidson

  12. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

  13. 5 out of 5

    Patty

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tam Francis

  15. 5 out of 5

    Martha Thomas

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ellen Bradley

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alexandros Xydes

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kim

  19. 5 out of 5

    Christine Darling

  20. 4 out of 5

    Peter Thung

  21. 5 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  22. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia Cisneros

  23. 4 out of 5

    Micielle

  24. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Trenary

  25. 5 out of 5

    Joyce

  26. 5 out of 5

    Joanne

  27. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

  28. 4 out of 5

    Phyllis Barlow

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Reader

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

  31. 5 out of 5

    Ann Ellis

  32. 5 out of 5

    Lorri

  33. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

  34. 4 out of 5

    Pam Mooney

  35. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Heare Watts

  36. 5 out of 5

    Sue

  37. 5 out of 5

    Shana M. Essig

  38. 5 out of 5

    Roxanne

  39. 4 out of 5

    Pam

  40. 4 out of 5

    Yesenia

  41. 5 out of 5

    andrea

  42. 4 out of 5

    Stacey

  43. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Dawalt

  44. 5 out of 5

    Kim Friant

  45. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

  46. 5 out of 5

    Leigh

  47. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Beck

  48. 5 out of 5

    Terry Pearson

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