Thursday, February 14, 2013

Up and Coming Out of the Easy by Ruta Septys

Out of the Easy by Ruta Septys

Release Date: Feb 12, 2013

People have been talking behind Josie Moraine's back since she was born. Her mother is one of the most well known residents at the most well known brothel in New Orleans. But Josie is determined not to let her mother's reputation ruin her chances at a successful life.

She's out of high school but even if she could scrape up the money to go to college at Tulane or another Louisiana school, the rumors about her would just follow her like a cloud of old perfume. She wants a fresh start. When she meets a girl who attends Smith, up in Massachusetts, it seems like destiny. Too bad life gets in the way...

Instead of planning her college applications Josie finds herself mixed up in her mother's mob problems and a murder investigation on top of that. Not to mention trying to help her best friend try to hold on to his ailing father's bookshop. How can you find time to pursue your dreams when all of this is going on at the same time?

Ruta Septys is the author of the beautiful Between Shades of Gray, one of our favorite books of 2011. Ms. Septys has the skills of a master world builder, she's just sending her readers back in time instead of to another planet or a fairy world. This is a mystery that could be set nowhere else but New Orleans. Septys describes Josie's world so vividly that you can smell the beignets and hear the jazz coming from around the corners. It's a book that is easy to get lost in because it is so transporting.

The other thing that makes Out of the Easy so special are the characters. I would read a separate book about every person in Josie's life, from Willie, the woman who owns the Brothel where Josie's mother works (and who as hard nosed as she is, has been much more of a mother figure in her life, even giving her a gold watch for her eighteenth birthday) to Jesse the motorcycle hooligan who mans the flowershop on Josie's way to work to Cokie Coquard, the soft hearted cab driver who would do anything for Josie. Septys has created a life-times worth of friends, neighbors and adopted family. Josie may wish she could get as far away from all the people she knows as possible, but the reader just wants to grab a seat at the table and get to know everyone better.

If you're looking for a historical novel to escape to for a while, Out of the Easy is the perfect place to go. Just don't forget to say hello to everyone for us there when you visit.

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