My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publication Date: Feburary 12th, 2013
Publisher: Philomel Books
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Prostitution, Education
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 to 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.
OUT OF THE EASY is another fantastic piece of writing by the stupendous Ruta Sepetys, aka the only historical fiction writer to make my list of top favourite authors.
With a mostly absent and selfish prostitute as a mother, Josie’s life has never been exactly easy. The title is, therefore, very much ironic.
Josie is a good girl who wants a good education and a good life, out of the city of New Orleans which, so far, only filled her heart with disappointments. But if she can’t receive a scholarship, she’ll be stuck in a life she wishes would be different until she meets her creator.
Though we’re clearly aware of the fact that this is a historical novel from the way the people were thinking and living in 1950s New Orleans, the point of this book is not to tell you how things were back in the day, although that’s part of it, but rather make you experience, through the lovely Josie, the life of a teenage girl with big dreams in a city that plans to suck the life out of her.
More showing than telling. And that’s so very great, because I can’t recall the number of times I’ve been disappointed with a book because of its annoying tendency to tell instead of to show which, incidentally, works much better than the former on so many levels.
It’s simply a pleasure to read Miss Sepethys’ novels. I don’t worry about being flooded with information or having to put on my intelligence glasses to decipher what she says. She writes like she breaths. Effortlessly.
And with an admirable elegance.
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