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. (from GoodReads)
Everyone raves about Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys, but I haven't read it yet! So I went into Out of the Easy without any knowledge of this writer's ability. Luckily the hype seems to be legitimate because I loved Out of the Easy!
This book sucks you in right from the beginning and I happily dove straight into Josie's world of New Orleans in the 50's. It's definitely a fun setting and one that I hadn't read about before. I kind of wanted to live there or at least follow Josie around for a little longer because I liked it that much. Ruta Sepetys did a great job of describing the city and making it come alive.
What makes Out of the Easy such a good book is that the supporting characters really bring the story to life. This includes Patrick, the son of the owner of the bookshop where Josie's works; Jesse, Josie's maybe-beau; Willie; and Cokie, Willie's driver. They all gave the book a lot of heart through their dedication to Josie and just being all around awesome and interesting characters.
The mystery and Josie's connection to it were very interesting and added some depth and plot to the book. I like mysteries in general so I was happy to see that genre incorporated into this historical fiction novel.
I can't really think of much to say other than that I enjoyed Out of the Easy immensely and especially Josie as the heroine! That girl could kick butt!
Rating: 9 out of 10.
FTC: borrowed from the library.