Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

Title: Out of the Easy
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Publisher: Philomel Books
Release Date: February 12, 2013

Summary from Goodreads:
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.


I have to admit that I feel a little let down by this book. I expected to love it and I just didn’t. I only liked it.

What I did absolutely love were the wonderful and diverse cast of characters. Josie practically grows up in a French Quarter brothel but in her mother's absence these people become her true family. And I loved that she had a family by choice, if not by blood. Willie, Cokie and Jesse were my favorite of the bunch. Willie with her tough love and good intentions. Cokie with his big heart and steady presence. And Jessie with his unwavering faith in Josie and endless patience. There was depth to the characters that gave depth to the story. And I did grow to care for them all. They were the best thing about this book for me.

But there were a few times I found myself questioning where the story was going, and not in a good way. It felt like there were too many side plots, that it was hard to distinguish what the point of it all was. Nothing was really in focus - not the investigation surrounding the mysterious death, not Josie's plan to get out of New Orleans, or her history with Cincinnati (a person) and relationship with her mother. I think I was hoping for more of story in any one of these things. And more closure overall. Does that make any sense?

And part of what I love about reading historical fiction is experiencing the time period in which the book is set, but I didn’t really feel like I was in 1950s New Orleans. There was very little attention paid to the setting/time period, that I felt like I could have been anywhere really. The details didn't come off as strongly as I would have liked unfortunately.

But that being said, I still think Out of the Easy is a worthwhile read. The characters were wonderful and many others have enjoyed the story more so than I did. I think, for me, it was a case of too high of expectations.

Copyright © 2014 The Quiet Concert
Template and Design by New Chapter Designs