Ruta Sepetys has written yet another fascinating and wonderfully realistic historical fiction novel. Josie is a strong narrator and protagonist with a straightforward, wry, and sometimes darkly comedic voice. She is extremely likable, determined, and courageous, yet she is not without her flaws and hang-ups as she handles her feelings for her absent-minded floozy of mother and she can't seem to let go of the idea of a father she'll never know, sometimes to her own detriment. Sepetys doesn't shy away from the grittiness of the setting or the reality of Josie's situation as the daughter of a prostitute in the French Quarter with big aspirations. Josie is hard-working and level-headed, but she isn't sheltered from the humiliation and degradation of those that would judge her because of her family and associations. Sepetys captures the emotional tumult of Josie's relationships with her mother, Willie, and her friends very well, and the agonizing decisions Josie faces as she is forced to decide just how far she is willing to go to get what she wants. The plot is fast-moving and sharp, and the ending a rewarding one for both Josie and the reader, realistic and appropriately optimistic. Out of the Easy is an excellent, entertaining, and sometimes heartbreaking book that you won't soon forget.
Cover Comments: I love this cover so much--the green is pretty, and I like how the girl is partially obscured by the birdcage--very significant to the story! Beautiful!
ARC provided by publisher.