Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Review: Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

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. 

          Once in a while a great book comes along that makes everything afterward seem watered-down and flimsy. And so I scramble frantically for another good book until I am so desperate for story that I begin to settle for lesser literature. A poor book is now okay. And an okay book is suddenly good. Once in a while I will dream of the great book I read and wonder if there will every be anything like it again. Then suddenly, out of the blue, a really good book, perhaps not great, but one that comes close to touching reality in ways most books don't, falls into my lap and slams things into perspective. And suddenly I realize I've been reading tosh this entire time.
         Jo was  layered and insightful with depth and dreams and a good bit of practicality. I loved the determination she displayed in fighting for her dreams. She understood they were far above her and pretty much impossible, but that didn't keep her from trying her hardest. This story is Jo's; however, it is also Patrick's and Willie's and Jesse's and many, many other characters'. Everyone Jo encounters is written with such flavor that they continue to exist after their part in Jo's life is over. We follow Jo's story line, but she is not the only main character.
Characters: 5 Stars
          Though not set out as an action novel, this book has plenty of rough and tumble in a totally plausible way for Jo's world. Don't expect full on flash and fire gun fights. Do expect hold-ups, death threats, blackmails, betrayal, etc. I did feel that the ending was fairly rushed and didn't provide the closure I was looking for, but regardless, this was Historical Fiction at its finest. Jo's struggle to break free from the web of the Big Easy explores corrupted people on all levels of society and good people on all levels of society.
Plot: 5 Stars
          Ruta Sepetys has mastered the art of storytelling by detail. With a sidelong mention of an object, she can call to mind a new understanding of the situation. Out of the Easy displays considerable knowledge of the culture and circumstances present in New Orleans in the 1950's. This is a well textured tale that feels strikingly realistic.
Style: 5 Stars

Rating: 5 Stars
Source: Library
Genre: Historical Fiction
YA/Adult Fiction (331 Pages)

No comments:

Post a Comment