Thursday, May 02, 2013

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

Josie is eleven years old when she moves into an apartment above a book store. Now at seventeen, Josie works in the bookstore to support herself. Why is she left to her own devices? Well, her mother is a prostitute working in a New Orleans brothel in the 1950s in Ruta Sepetys' Out of the Easy.

         "My mother's a prostitute. Not the filthy, streetwalking kind. She's actually quite pretty, fairly well spoken, and has lovely clothes. But she sleeps with men for money or gifts, and according to the dictionary, that makes her a prostitute."

Josie is a precocious and upbeat girl despite her situation and dealing with her thieving, selfish mother.  Yet problems arise as Josie plots to escape New Orleans only to become tangled in a murder investigation that will test her spirit and her will.

Sepetys' historical fiction is beautifully written and engaging from page one. Out of the Easy serves up a varied cast of characters, each well rounded and robust. Much like her previous book, Between Shades of Gray, Sepetys' novel is sure to be a hit with both young adults and adults.

If you like this and other historical fiction, you might also try Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein or Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick.

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