Krista Reviews: Ruta Sepetys - "Out of the Easy"
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.
Hardcover, 346 pages Published February 12th 2013 by Philomel Books ISBN 039925692X (ISBN13: 9780399256929)
Josie is the daughter of a prostitute in 1950 New Orleans. At a young age she began sleeping in a small apartment above a local bookstore to get away from the abusive ways of her mother. The bookstore owner Charles, and his son Patrick, have been the closest thing she’s had to a family. Madam Willie has taken on the role of mother and always kept an eye out for Josie and her troubles. But now those problems are stacking up higher than she can manage.
After Josie’s mother leaves for Hollywood, Josie finds the watch of a dead man in her mother’s room, entangling her in a mysterious death.
Out of the Easy contains several layers of story line that weave into a suspenseful thriller. Josie’s troubles begin piling up and she makes some bad decisions in hope of making a better future for herself. When Charles falls ill, she has the added stress of running the bookstore. This book contains a little bit of everything from romance to life threatening danger.
Historical novels often contain too much information about the time and setting, slowing them down but the pacing in Out of the Easy was impressive. It is a character driven story and Josie gets herself into more trouble than she can handle as she’ll do anything to achieve her dream.