Mira, Oct 2002, 6.50, 384 pp.
When they first met, Roque Moya Blackstone teased fourteen year old Ritz Keller Evans calling her princess, telling her that her friend was prettier, and taking her horse from her. The encounter ends in an incident with his father hurting him and her father warning her to stop acting the whore and stay away from that evil family.
Rogue's half brother Caleb and Ritz become friends and dance together in public. Her drunken brother Steve and her boyfriend, both filled with liquor, go crazy and chase after their enemy. In an ensuing car crash, Caleb dies. Separately Steve also crashes and is left a paraplegic. Not long afterward Ritz saves Roque from a beating and takes him to Mexico. They make love, but he is married. Her father rejects a pregnant Ritz as a whore and eventually she loses their baby from working too hard to support herself. Ten years later, a bitter Roque still blames Ritz for the baby's death.
MARRY A MAN WHO WILL DANCE is a modern day southwest West Side Story starring a half-Mexican-half American and an American whose fathers hate each other. Ritz is an intrepid individual whose morality shines through the novel in spite of overwhelming pressure by her parents, the townsfolk, and her beloved to break. Her only oases as the eye of the storm over the years are a kind grandmother and Caleb. The deep character study requires the audience to accept some improbable pivotal points that ring untrue for the characters hurting an insightful story line.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner