I wasn’t sure I would enjoy a book about New Orleans in the 1950’s – especially with its focus on the dark, unsavory side of the city – but I am so glad someone recommended I read Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys! (In our library, this novel is classified as a Young Adult novel, but it could easily go on the Adult Fiction shelves instead.)
The main character in Out of the Easy is Josie Moraine, the seventeen year old daughter of a prostitute. Josie moved into her own apartment at the age of eleven, to escape her mother and her mother’s friends. Josie works in a bookstore, gets good grades in school and dreams of college and a better life. She also works in the early mornings at the brothel – cleaning up the mess from the night before. Surprisingly, Willie, the owner of the brothel, was one of my favorite characters. (In the book, Josie describes her as ‘the wicked stepmother with the fairy godmother heart.’) There are quite a few interesting characters in the book . . . some are so evil that they have no redeeming qualities . . . others are so caring and kind that they melt your heart.
Out of the Easy was beautifully written and pretty fast-paced. There are many secrets, a murder and lots of drama that Josie must deal with in a short amount of time. Give this book a try – I think you’ll enjoy it!