Friday, August 1, 2014

Flashback Fridays: The Booming 1950s

Rachel brings one of our favorite historical fiction authors to the fifties party: 
Out of the Easy by Ruta Septys

Josie is seventeen and dreams of being a normal girl with aspirations of going to college. But she's the daughter of a prostitute in 1950 New Orleans--not exactly the usual background for a university girl. And her problems only start there. Josie's flighty, selfish mother has entangled herself in murder, enraged a jealous lover, and as a result has put Josie's own life in danger. On top of that, a new man in town with a kind way about him gets Josie thinking about her long gone father in a new way. Can Josie stay focused on her goals for college and escape from her past? Can she keep herself alive?

There are some characters that take a story from good to spectacular. In Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys, 1950 New Orleans itself is that character. Sepetys pictured a city that was at once cozy and homey, exciting and alive, ugly and slimey. The vernacular of the time shimmies off of Josie and the prostitutes tongues and at times made me laugh out loud. And the other characters certainly didn't disappoint. There's Willie, the no-nonsense Madame of the brothel where Josie lives, who is the mother-figure that Josie's real mother could never be. There are the prostitutes who are the colorful and loyal friends who have shaped Josie's life. And there's Josie's mother, careless and weak, who has done nothing but let Josie down and put her in danger.

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys will take you on a trip back in time with this story about murder, hope, and family in vibrant 1950 New Orleans!

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