Out of The Easy
By Ruta Sepetys
Narrated By Lauren Fortgang
Whispersync for Voice-ready
Length: 9 hrs and 51 mins
Release Date: 02-12-13
Publisher: Penguin Audio
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It's 1950 and the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie Moraine 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.At a Glance:
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 really, REALLY enjoyed this book. Written at a slower pace, I wasn't sure how I would feel about Out of the Easy, but once it sank it's hooks in me, I couldn't stop listening. The writing was fantastic, pulling me into the 1950's time period and the intriguing world of the Big Easy. Historical fiction fans will eat this up like a bowl of red beans and rice!
The audiobook was nothing short of perfect. From the music that played at the beginning, to the wide range of incredible voices used by Lauren Fortgang, I couldn't be more pleased. Lauren could make Josie's voice young and girlish, then instantly switch to Willie who had a raspy New Orleans drawl, and added in other sexes and accents without stumbling a bit. I especially loved how emotional she made Willie. It was just fantastic! As an added bonus, Ruta Sepetys spoke at the end about her research and inspiration for the novel. It was awesome!
I adore the cover. It has such an "antiqued" feel to it, and fits perfectly with a scene in the book. I love it when you can tell the cover designer has actually read the book!
Action & Mystery & a Brothel:
The book starts out at a slower pace, but what an interesting read. Josie works as a maid at a brothel where her good-for-nothing mother is an "upscale" prostitute. She meets very interesting characters, and ends up in more than one sketchy situation. From mob bosses threatening her, to well-to-do men trying to push Josie into the "business," to a murder that has everyone wondering who to trust, Josie's life is in constant turmoil. All Josie wants is to get out of New Orleans, and not end up like her mother, but it seems like the world is against her, and the emotions I felt while reading her struggle were intense until the very last page.
There is a romance in this book, and it is SO sweet, though it isn't the main focus of the book. Though there were two boys in Josie's life, I wouldn't call it a love triangle. It was the typical two boys fighting over one girl scenario. It was more like Josie trying to figure out what she wanted, and learning who she loved along the way. It was awesome, and I loved it.
What an amazing, fascinating, strong, and completely frustrating heroine Josie is! While Josie is incredibly smart, she has a weakness for making really stupid decisions when it comes to trusting the wrong people, and not trusting the right people. But, honestly, if you were raised by a no-good, lying, thieving, prostitute, how would you turn out? That's what I loved so much about her. She was so determined that she would change her fate. She would NOT repeat the mistakes of her mother. She knew she could do better, and she wouldn't take the easy way out.
There were a couple of heroes, and I really loved them all! I guess I would say that Patrick and Jessie were the main two, and they are seriously awesome and so good to Josie. They both truly care about her and would do anything for her. I loved how their character development was also so complete and separate from Josie. They both had their own stories happening in the background, making them seem more real to me.
Favorite Supporting Character:
And the award goes to.....Willie. Though Willie was tough and sometimes a little to hard, I just loved her character, and thought she brought so much life and realism to this story. She was such a mystery, and such a fantastic part of this book.
Something I loved:
The rich feel of the setting and world that Ruta exposed me to in her writing. I really felt like I was there! And since I've never been, I really enjoyed the visit!
Something(s) I hated:
Josie's mother, SO MUCH. Wow, that was hard to read. I'm not sure that I've ever hated a character so much.
Nope, this is a stand-alone, and wrapped up awesomely!
Would I recommend it?
I would definitely recommend this. Even if you're not usually a fan of historical fiction, I think you really might enjoy this book. Especially if you like a good mystery!
Will I buy/keep it?
I'm keeping the audio, and I'd like to add a hard cover copy to my collection!
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- Profanity: Mild
- Sexual Content: Heavy
- Violence: Moderate