Seventeen year old, Josie Moraine, lives in the French Quarter of New Orleans during the 1950s. Her mother is a prostitute with little regard for Josie’s well being. Josie lives in a room above the bookstore where she works and also cleans the brothel where her mother resides. The brothel is run by Willy, a strict madam who loves and takes care of Josie more than her own mother. Despite her circumstances, Josie refuses to feel sorry for herself and desperately wishes to attend a girl’s college away from New Orleans. As she saves money to leave “The Big Easy,” Josie finds herself dealing with mobsters because of her mother’s criminal dealings. She also becomes entangled in a number of her own lies and isn’t sure if she will be able to escape.
I always forget how much I love historical fiction until I pick up a book like Out of Easy. This novel by Ruta Sepetys is full of New Orleans history. While I love the characters, I was most intrigued by everything I learned about New Orleans during the 50s. I went to New Orleans a couple a years ago for a conference and as I read this book, I felt like I was back walking the streets in The French Quarter. Fans of historical fiction will love this one! I have also heard that this novel could possibly be a contendor for the Printz Award.
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