I really enjoyed "Salt to the Sea" by Ruta Sepetys so thought I'd give one of her books another try.
Summary: "Out of the Easy" is the coming of age story of Josie, seventeen year old daughter of a French Quarter prostitute, employee of a local book store, mascot to a local whore house and someone desperate to change her lot in life. As New Years Eve rolls around, Josie finds herself on the periphery of a local murder investigation that will challenge her loyalties and define her future.
My Thoughts: Although "Out of the Easy" was written for a teenage audience, I really enjoyed the story. The depth of the characters is extraordinary and their stories unfold in the perfect (for me) way---through showing, reacting and dialog instead of being told to the reader.
Josie is complex in the best of ways. She's a child, only just 18 and has the innocence of someone young but with the street smarts and wisdom of someone who's been on her own for far too long. Josie longs for her Mother's love while understanding that its a lost cause. She loves and respects Willy but can't come to trust her completely because of the scars she carries from her Mother. She has a place in the French Quarter but is desperate to leave and reinvent herself. The choices she makes are absolutely believable but totally frustrating.
The setting is both exotic and compelling. The underbelly of the French Quarter with its gangsters, prostitutes and gamblers is frightening making the bonds between characters both astonishing and raw. Who would expect a Madam of a brothel to raise one of her girls' children as her own? Or would expect information men to look out for the people they spy on?
Overall, I'd definitely recommend this story to anyone looking for something fast paced and engaging to ready. Please note that it's probably not appropriate for tweens.
Rating: I'll read this again some day when I want to be lost in the mystery of 1950s New Orleans.
Reviewed By: Tami
Also Read By Author: "Salt to the Sea"