Date Published: February 12th 2013
Genres: 20th Century, Historical, Historical Fiction, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Audiobook Length: 9 hours 51 minutes
Audiobook Narrator: Lauren Fortgang
Description: “A haunting peek at the life of a teenage girl in 1950s New Orleans.”--Entertainment Weekly
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.
I thoroughly enjoyed Out of the Easy. I loved the way it was written and the overall tone of the book. It was so well researched and I felt like I was really there in 1950s Nawlins hanging out in the Quarter and seeing all the goings on. I really enjoyed the way each and every character was so real and believable – some likable and some absolutley despicable.
I loved Josie and her plight to shed her background and make something of herself. She was real and raw and her mistakes were understandable as they built on choices she made and the situation she was forced into. She isn’t some silly teenager, but is a brilliant young lady with a quick tongue and a smart way about life. I hated Josie’s mother and her shallow stupidity and absolute disregard for her own child’s well-being. I liked Willie but I loved Cokie. I liked Patrick and Jessie, and loved how Josie had true friends who stand by her and help her out of the pickles she gets herself in.
But most of all I loved the audio. I was already a fan of Lauren Fortgang, and having her read this audio with all her amazing voices and accents was a treat! She really gives breathes life into each character and takes an already well-written person and makes you hear them instead of just imagine them in your head.
I really liked Out of the Easy. And I attribute that wholly to the audio. Ms. Fortang did a steller job. (And now I REALLY want to listen to the Grisha books by Leigh Bardugo.) All of the characters had distinct voices. I felt like I was there, in New Orleans, in 1950, listening to Josie’s story first hand.
Out of the Easy is a book about choices. Josie and the other characters must make their choices, and live with the consequences. I credit Ms. Sepetys with creating very empathetic characters and what I can only assume is realistic scenery and action from 1950 New Orleans. I found Josie to be a strong female lead, living on her own since the age of 11, supporting and taking care of herself. All while fighting off the lecherous men waiting for Josie to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Which to me, just made me hate those men even more. (And reminded me of the same situation in Memoirs of a Geisha.)
Overall, this was an excellent book choice. I don’t think I would have heard about it or picked it up on my own – it is a book club selection. But now you are in the know. And should check this out. Especially the audio.