Okay, so I, Lexi/Alexis, have another confession to make. I love the south. I love reading women's fiction set in the old south. If it's good, it has hilarious and sassy characters facing a time where it seems they don't necessarily fit in. The best part are the strong women who ran things and got their way. I admire strong women and so this fiction is best for me. That's why I gave Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys. All I needed was to see the setting was NOLA and I was hooked.
Summary: "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.
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.
With characters as captivating as those in her internationally bestselling novel Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys skillfully creates a rich story of secrets, lies, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny." (Thanks again, Amazon.com!)
I have never read Ms. Sepetys's other novel, and didn't even realize she wrote that novel until the summary above just now. Thus, however her other book is, this review has not been affected by that in any way, shape, or form.
This novel... What can I say?... It was wonderful.
This novel is a great novel about family and life choices. Josie's family was completely unconventional. My personal philosophy is that you choose your family, and blood can have nothing to do with it at all. So as unconventional as Josie's life and family is, you can feel the immense love from beginning to end.
Sepety is so descriptive and nonchalant about Josie's life that you feel like growing up around prostitutes is no big deal. Living where mobsters dwell, and knowing which guys are faithful to their wives or not and everything is completely normal. You feel as if it's just another day in the world.
You learn that choices and decisions in life can make or break a person, and that it's up to you to find the good in your life. If Josie could be as strong and as loving as she was even though her biological mother was so horrid, you can, too. Just by that alone, this novel shows that you choose who to be and how to be, that certain events and circumstances can happen, but it truly is you who decides how that event is going to affect you and shape your personality and heart. This is just one facet of this novel.
Structurally, this novel makes it easy to follow who each of the characters are. You'll wish you were there to see Willie grumpy in the morning, or Jesse as a whole. You'll want to live in a bookstore as well, and have people around you that are unsavory characters, but with hearts. The sentences and grammar are perfectly fine, my fellow grammar soldiers. My favorite are the turns of phrases and how Septey described things. A couple are these:
"I'll be back in a sneeze to pick you up." -pg. 175
"...the girl carrying a bucket of lies and throwing them like confetti..." pg. 187
Also, there was a metaphor of a moth in one's throat that was perfect.
This novel was just all-around awesome. I truly hope you guys read this. My rating?
Now, I know that there is a number system for a reason, but this novel is one I will be going back to read for sure. It's exciting and unpredictable! You get so wrapped up that it'll take a minute or two to answer if a person interrupts.
Suggestions? Not really any for this one. Just let yourself be immersed in the NOLA culture of the time, and enjoy.
Have an amazing Easter!!!!!
Until next time, loves!