Dime by E.R. Frank
I received a copy of this book for review, but was not compensated financially in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based solely on my experiences while reading this book. This post contains affiliate links.
Author: E.R. Frank
About the Book
The realities of teen prostitution are revealed in this eye-opening, heartbreaking story from the author of America, which Booklist called “a piercing, unforgettable novel” and Kirkus Reviews deemed “a work of sublime humanity.”
As a teen girl in Newark, New Jersey, lost in the foster care system, Dime just wants someone to care about her, to love her. A family. And that is exactly what she gets—a daddy and two “wifeys.” So what if she has to go out and earn some coins to keep her place? It seems a fair enough exchange for love.
Dime never meant to become a prostitute. It happened so gradually, she pretty much didn’t realize it was happening until it was too late.
But when a new “wifey” joins the family and Dime finds out that Daddy doesn’t love her the way she thought he did, will Dime have the strength to leave? And will Daddy let her?
Dime was a difficult book to read because of the subject matter. It’s well-written, engrossing and heartbreaking. Most of all, it’s all about stuff that really happens. I’ll admit I didn’t know much about human trafficking or teen prostitution before reading Dime. I feel like after reading this book, I have a better understanding of some young girls’ realities and how they feel they have no other choice. And rightly so. This book touched me deep down. I have a teenage daughter and the unimaginable horrors brought me to tears.
The book is told from the point of view of a 14 year old girl named Dime. She grew up in the foster care system and was doing ok until her foster mother started drinking. She was a mean drunk and made Dime’s life miserable. She kicked Dime out of the house during one of her drunken rages and Dime ended up cold and alone on the streets with no where to go. It’s there that an older girl, L.A., befriends her and gives her a coat to keep warm. She calls her “Dime” because that’s the only money on her. We never do find out her real name.
L.A. brings Dime home to meet Daddy and the other “wifey”, Brandy. Daddy is very kind to Dime and takes her in. He gives her shelter, food and attention. Dime falls for Daddy and craves his attention. Looking in on the outside, I can see how Daddy is manipulating Dime. She wants someone to love her and Daddy gives her that and more.
It happens gradually how Dime gets into prostitution. Daddy gives her an ultimatum eventually to either put in her keep and earn him some “coins” or leave. By that time, Dime is comfortable there sleeping in her little alcove on the floor and going to school during the day. She wants to please Daddy and spend time with him. Daddy rewards them with “alone time” in his bedroom. Dime wants his love and attention so she does what she needs to do.
Daddy disgusts me. He’s manipulative and a liar. He doesn’t care one bit about the girls and only sees them as dollar signs. He knows they are stuck in a bad situation and fully uses that to his advantage.
There are many scenes that made me feel sick to my stomach. It wasn’t that it was extremely graphic or anything. I knew what was happening and it affected me deeply. I wanted so badly for Dime to see Daddy with fresh eyes and realize how wrong he was.
I read Dime in a matter of days. It’s one of those books you can’t put down, despite the subject matter. Even though some of the scenes affected me, I’m glad I read it.