Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

Out of the EasyOut of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this book again as part of the 2014 Hub Challenge. Thank you to my librarian friends for giving me this book as a retirement gift!!! I love Ruta Sepetys; she has written two fabulous historical fiction books (first Between Shades of Gray) and both books with strong female protagonists who must make some very difficult decisions and feel very overwhelmed by their circumstances.
In Out of the Easy, Josie has lived in Louisiana, has a mother who is a prostitute and could care less about her own daughter. Since the young age of ten, Josie has lived in an apartment above a book store and it was the owner who saves her by giving her lodgings (she works in the book store with his son, Patrick)fostering a love of books, an education. When Josie has graduated high school, a very well-to-do man enters the book store and buys 2 poetry books for his wife. Jo feels a deep connection towards this man and she keeps the check he paid for the books with because she has a fantasy that he could be her father.
When he dies suddenly on New Years Eve, Josie thinks there is more to it. She has her beloved friend, Cokie, try to glean more information about his death. Another job Josie holds is cleaning the house of prostitution where her mother works. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the Bayou traditions and superstitions, Josie's fortitude and her self consciousness about her heritage and worth. Sepetys' cast of characters are compelling from the prostitutes to the boys who want to know her better and including her worthless mother and evil boyfriend, Cincinnati. You will be plunged to the depths of despair for Josie but her optimism and endurance will keep you turning these pages and rooting for her!!!

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