This review is sprinkled with spoilers, I’m sorry. Anything that’s crossed out
like this is a spoiler.
Hi, friends, I’m so sorry I haven’t written a review in so long. I’ve been very busy ~living for the aesthetic~ so please forgive me. Also, it turns out I’m depressed–I got diagnosed and everything–and with all the laying sadly in my bed that I’ve been doing, I got a lot of reading done!
I read Out of the Easy in one day because I’m trying to read a book every day this summer, and also because it was really good. I had relatively high expectations because I read Between Shades of Gray by this same author and thought it was also really good. I’d never heard of it before when I went to Barnes and Noble last week, but it’s about the daughter of a prostitute, which I thought was intriguing. Here’s the full summary:
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 to 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.
You might not know this about me, but I love historical fiction, especially historical fiction written by my girl Ruta Sepetys. Out of the Easy is historical fiction written by my girl Ruta, so we hit it off pretty well.
This book starts off when Josie is seven and she and her mother first go to see Willie. Well, actually, it starts with her mother doing it with some guy at a hotel and getting some nice jewelry in return, but then they go see Willie. Lil seven-year-old Josie engages in some witty banter with Willie, and they bond over how children are the worst and Josie’s mother is even worse than children. It’s great.
Really, though, one of my favorite things about this novel is the relationship between Josie and Willie. After that first chapter, the book jumps forward ten years to seventeen-year-old Josie, who is tragic and educated and wonderful. She is working at a bookshop with one of her love interests, Patrick,
who turns out to be gay and makes me really sad by how closeted and ashamed he is.
^^that was for you, Patrick, my love.
Josie also cleans up the brothel where her mother works in the mornings, and during this she brings Willie her coffee and anything she finds that the customers left behind. Willie is secretly my favorite character, after the true star of the show, Jesse (or maybe Cokie). I don’t know; I loved almost all of these characters.
Anyway, Josie is actively trying to get into college and far, far away from New Orleans and her crazy mother for this whole book. She is very firm in not wanting to end up like her mother or any of the girls in Willie’s brothel,
except for this one part at the end but we won’t talk about that because I’ll tuck Josie away into a tiny corner where no one can ever touch her.
Back to Jesse: he’s wonderful. Even when I thought Patrick was straight, I preferred Jesse over him. There were so many times in this book when Josie was cracking open at the seams and she very clearly was soothed by Jesse, every time. Things were so easy between them, and Josie really needs something easy in her terrible life. She deserves Jesse (also he’s openly into her for this entire book, it was a little embarrassing at times.) (Not really, though, he’s too smooth.)
The murder was very juicy, especially because the man who was murdered was one of the people who inspired Josie to go the fancy college she’s hoping to attend. They only met once, when he came to her bookshop the day he was murdered, but it was enough for her to develop an emotional attachment and decide she wants him to be her father.
It’s okay. We love her anyway. *blows a thousand kisses*
She’s also linked to the murder because her mother killed the guy.
This book was so so wonderful! If I could erase my memory and read it again, I absolutely would.
I didn’t proofread this, just so ya know.