It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, 17-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 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 best-selling 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.
©2013 Ruta Sepetys (P)2013 Penguin Audiobooks
Short, Simple, No Spoilers
Josie Moraine, the 17 year old daughter of a harlett, cleans a brothel while living above her employer's bookshop. She dares to dream of a better life, attending Smith College and leaving behind New Orleans' seedy underworld. Caught in the middle of a mysterious murder investigation, Jo's allegiance to her trollep mother, friends, and Willie (the madam who has been more of a mother-figure) is called into question. She must make difficult decisions, putting her in precarious situations in hopes of escaping with her innocence and livliehood.
This YA novel is a wonderful ride through resourceful and bright, Josie, Jo, Josephine's tale. Interesting, entertaining, and just dangerous enough to appeal to adults and no curse words or explicit sex to recommend to my daughter. Wonderful, straight forward writing style. Will definitely check out her first book, Between Shades of Gray.
I love to read and listen to books. I teach and share my love with my teenager and I'd like to share that love with you.
The 1950s are usually relegated to stories of the Cold War or the Happy Days. RUTA gives us something much richer to sink our teeth into. She melded the perfect blend of history, culture, mystery and thriller to transport me to another time.
We get to know and love a very eclectic cast of secondary characters through the eyes of Josie Moraine. She is strong, moral, motivated and scrappy. She isn’t afraid to wield a pistol in her attempt to rise of her mother, her past and her surroundings. She was raised a whore’s daughter. She is so tired of how people look at her, prejudging her. She dreams of heading north, starting over and getting an education. Though she has aspirations to escape New Orleans, you never feel that she really regrets her life, the things she has learned and those around her that love her. Yep, Josie has a special quality about her.
Not that life was ever easy for Josie, but her dreams will come at great cost. You are immersed into a world of secrets, lies and murder. Not all will be answered. Not everyone will make it. But it ends rich, messy and perfect.
LAUREN FORTGANG did a most excellent job. All her voices slid me into the past like butter. Her Southern Drawl fleshed out Ruta’s world bringing New Orleans to life. Josie was bright and thinking. Willie is all madam, control and red velvet. The various men ranged from Brando-eque to all business like. Some were protecting and thoughtful, some brought the swoons and a few made your skin crawl. OUT OF THE EASY played out in a vividness associated with watching a play performed in front of your eyes.
Here is to Rising Above without Losing Yourself.
Just looking for an enjoyable story! Books are my passion.
Josie is a girl who lived part of her childhood in a New Orleans brothel. I love going to New Orleans, so the idea of reading a book in which the main character lives there sounded fun. I'm not going any further about the plot so no spoilers. This book was an easy listen and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The narrator did a great job. I was sorry to see it end!
Love a great book that stays with you long after you've finished it.
Wow! Great read. The characters were so well rounded, interesting and well put together. This story is not a common one, high morals set within a brothel. This author has the ability to take ordinary words and weave them into something beautiful. The narrator was so amazing. Not only changing her voice for different characters, but becoming the character. Super listen.
fascinating, compelling, sweet
Josie- protaganist and newly 18 with experience beyond her years yet also innocent
growing up wise yet still new to the world
well narrated, some nail biting moments- all infused with well developed characters you can see and feel. well written- LOVED this book
The narration by Lauren Fortgang was excellent. She gave life to the diverse characters. This is an engaging story, well written, interesting characters, and an upbeat ending.
“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.” ― Dr. Seuss
Impact of decisions
When Josie when to see Mr. Lockwell at his apartment and how she handled herself.
Your decisions can impact your life.
This story is about decisions and their impact on someone's life. I was taken right from the beginning. I am a sucker for stories from the 50's filled with mobsters and hope for better days. I was not disappointed. Josie Moraine is a young lady who is trying to find her place in the sun despite all what life has thrown at her. We follow her story in 1950 and her desperate attempts to get out of the Big Easy (The Big Easy is a nickname for New Orleans, if you did not know that). The story is rich with facts about New Orleans and how the people lived in the 50's. The author did not hide the ugliness and beauty of this city; her descriptions were realistic.
Ruta Sepetys did a marvelous job at bringing New Orleans alive. Her characters are at time serious, at time funny, but at always real. This book was whimsical and dramatic at the same time. I really enjoyed this book!
Medical professional who loves the escape of Romantic Adventure/suspense fiction and a country life.
Enjoyed the New Orleans accents, so definitely believe the audio version is an excellent way to take in this story.
Willie, the Madame. A reluctant Mother, although she would never say so, and very rough character, her back story evolves over the entire book.
Altheimers Scene with Charlie and Patrick. Jo wraps herself in an alternative family without requesting accolades. Also sets the stage for Patricks' back story.
Yes, walked around doing chores, hobbies, and took the story into the car with me. I love New Orleans and this story is so engaging that very easily time slips by and I could imagine myself in a Storyville. baudy house. The complicated life that real people lead shines through.
Terrific drama, with a different kind of family that a young woman develops when she has to choose herself over blood. Jo, her female friends, and the Madame are natively strong women without waving a suffragette banner. Subtle drama set in a whore house.
This is a typical YA story... young girl does the right thing and gets herself into a better place. I enjoyed it though. The Narrator was fantastic and the story was very good! It was a light read... but worth the time. I would have liked the ending to be her big dream coming true, but it would have made the book that much more predictable. It was good!
Listen nearly every day to an audiobook.
When listening to the book, I sometimes played back passages, to appreciate the descriptive language & details. At some points I was very plot-focused, and intent on finding out the next step in character dialogue and actions. Knowing the outcome of the plot now,I would listen again, to have a greater understanding of the writer's craft. I want to encourage anyone who reads this book to listen to Ms. Sepety's discussion of the research and writing process, an unadvertised feature after the music that concludes reading of the novel.
Hearing a book read out loud is a true test of its quality, as you want to savor every word in a good novel. I only listened to this book when I didn't have any distractions. For most books, I can do the equivalent of skimming, and drive or accomplish some housework. I am an adult, and I think this book stands on its own as an adult read.
This novel offers an intimate (but not sexually explicit!) view into the struggles of rich and poor, living in New Orleans in the 1950s. We gain insight into the idiosyncratic culture of New Orleans, class distinctions in the south & northeast, and the struggles of women trying to be independent before the women's lib movement. We understand the complexity of each character, driving his or her motivations for acts of acts of selfishness & generosity. The author's description of New Orleans and many other historical details weaved throughout the story are fascinating.
The colorful characters and dialog are a real strength of the novel, and the reader captures the dialect and personality of each character. The reader sounds like a 17-year old girl, which is the narrator's age. Yet she seamlessly switches between the characters. Josie's emotional development, in environment of hardship/social shame, is unique-- but not in gimmicky way.
This is my first Lauren Fortgang read.
Won't say, as I've tried not to include spoilers!
Do not be put off by the concept of the brothel. The book feels like a 1950s classic, as the narrator is more aware of sexual & criminal baseness than most other girls of her age, but she doesn't see behind closed doors. Fans of The Help may want to read this book. While classifying in a genre & comparing to another book is too simplistic, Out of the Easy is a coming-of-age story in the same era. Through the 17 year-old girl's search for her adult identity, we gain insight into the social complexities of an era.
I have listened to hundreds of audiobooks, and I have given only a few a triple five-star rating.
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