Out of The Easy by Ruta Sepetys
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
This book was so hard to put down, it grabbed me immediately and didn’t let go till the very last page and I was sad it was over. In New Orleans in 1950 we meet Josie she lives above the bookshop she works in but she didn’t always live there, she used to live with her mother at a brothel her mother still lives there, Josie started sleeping in the bookshop after she had had enough of the icky men and her mother stealing from her. When her boss Charlie figured out she was sleeping at the shop he put a room together for her and she has lived there ever since.
I loved Josie, her spirit was great and her dreams big, she wants to go to Smith College but can the poor daughter of a prostitute be accepted to a fancy school like that? But Smith College is expensive if she is accepted where will she get the money. Josie wants this so bad that she gets herself if a few situations that found me screaming at the book and hoping beyond hope that certain things don’t happen to her!
The supporting characters in this book are such a memorable bunch including her mother’s Madam Willie who is actually more of a mother to Josie than her own mother ever could be. The driver Cokie who always believed in his Josie girl and even gambled his own money to try to help her pay for college because he had no doubt she’d be accepted he was one of my favorites in this book. Then we have the 2 boys, Patrick, Charlie’s son who knows all of Josie’s secrets but does she know all his? And Jessie, badboy mechanic with a somewhat similar upbringing to Josie and will do anything for her. Then there is Josie’s mother what a piece of work this woman is she makes you cheer for Josie even more once you get to know her!
I truly enjoyed this book and will be recommending it to anyone and everyone young adults to adults will enjoy this book, I have already pre-ordered this for our library. I will now be going back and reading Ruta Sepetys first book and will be looking forward to anything else this author writes!
4 ½ Stars