OUT OF THE EASY
Publisher: Philomel Books
Release Date: February 13th, 2013
Rating: REALLY LIKED
It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street.
Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.
With characters as captivating as those in her internationally bestselling novel Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys skillfully creates a rich story of secrets, lies, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny
After the glory that was BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY, I knew I would pick up anything by Ruta Sepetys. And despite the controversial-seeming plot of the book, I did just that.
OUT OF THE EASY wasn’t nearly half as good as BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY. The main character, Josie, was less emotional – which I guess is obvious seeing as how her life is much easier than that of the protagonist in BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY. Yet, despite the lack of emotion, I couldn’t stop thinking of the characters after I flipped the last page. The characters – Josie, Jesse, Patrick, Cokie, Willie – they just grew on me. They were real.
The plot of OUT OF THE EASY was like ripping out a page of Josie’s life. It was a glimpse of how she lived for so long in a world so messed up. There were times when my heart was pounding so hard and I was just plain terrified – because whatever happened could happen in real life. 1950’s or not.
OUT OF THE EASY is about one life. Yet it reflects on so many – no matter what era we live in. It’s about a girl’s struggle to get out of a life where everyone knows everything. Where everyone judges you because of your family. Where a girl is so smart and wants to go to college but she can’t because of where she’s from and because she doesn’t have the money for it. I know how that is. Oh I know.
If contemporary and historical fiction is your thing, Ruta Sepetys’s latest is for you. Heart-warming, with a struggle many of us can relate to, OUT OF THE EASY is a tale meant for the classics.