4 out of 5 hearts
I was introduced to this book by my Goodreads friends who gave it great reviews. Aside from that, I am obsessed with all things NOLA - New Orleans, Louisiana - or as some folks say: "Nawlins". So, I had to read it and I'm glad I did.
Set in the 1950's New Orleans, Josie Moraine is an intelligent bookworm. But most noticeably, she is the daughter of a brothel prostitute. How could the life of a prostitute's child be? Josie knows the life to well and even though she is nothing like her mother, who is the most selfish person on the earth, the stigma of her upbringing haunts her every day of her life. If her mother's profession wasn't enough to hinder Josie's future, it seems that her mother tries to do everything in her power to ruin Josie's life.
While working in the bookstore one day, which also houses her apartment, see meets a successful and handsome man from Memphis. Josie has never met her father and this man is the epitome of her perfect father figure. He opens the doors to New Orleans high society and a new college friend for Josie. She is caught in the fine line between two worlds, the privileged and the underworld. The Memphis man's sudden murder crashes down on her and she is tangled in the investigation to find his murderers. Willie, the brothel madam, is her only chance for survival in the tough streets of the French Quarter. Will Josie ever make it out?
I found the very first line of this book to be enticing! It reads: "My mother's a prostitute." Doesn't that make you want to find out what happens next? It did for me. Even though this is set in the underworld of the French Quarters with prostitutes and gangsters, it focuses more on how Josie is dealing with it and how much it has affected her. She is nothing like the people that surround her but their actions have great consequences that affect her. She just wants to be a regular college girl and has the intellect to get in. But she is the type of person that always puts other ahead of her, even if they don't deserve it. This is a story about bravery, innocence, and dreams for a better life and what she has to do to get there.
I really enjoyed this book. One of my favorite characters was Willie, the madam. Although the story is based around Josie, there are other little sub-stories through out the book that make it even more interesting. I haven't read Between Shades of Gray yet, but trust me, its on my TBR list for sure!
“Sometimes we set off down a road thinkin' we're goin' one place and we end up another. But that's okay. The important thing is to start.” - Ruta Sepetys, Out of the Easy
Hardcover, 346 pages
Published February 12th 2013 by Philomel Books
ISBN 039925692X (ISBN13: 9780399256929)
Edition language: English