Out of the Easy
by Ruta Sepetys
"Out of the Easy" tells the captivating story of a teenage girl struggling to make her way in New Orleans in the 1950's. As the daughter of a prostitute, Josie grows up mostly apart from her mother, and living and working in a bookstore. Her dream is to get out of New Orlearns, and create a life for herself somewhere new. I would highly recommend this this wonderful story of loss, love, and finding who you really want to be.
In the song Roxanne, the speaker is singing to someone who works as a prostitute, and telling them that they don't have to live that way. In "Out of the Easy," the main character Josie grows up the daughter of a prostitute, and is surrounded by that lifestyle. However, she knows from a very early age that she does not want to live a life of prostitution, even though she is desired by men.
"I'm Not the Only One" is about someone who is being unfaithful to their significant other. Josie witnesses this countless times, as she sees married men come into Willie's frequently. There is also a more prominent character in the book, Mr. Lockwood, who frequently cheats on his wife with Evangeline, one of the prostitutes. He wants to be with Josie also, but she refuses.
This song would be from Jesse's perspective. Jesse was interested in Josie for the entire book, and by the end she had developed feelings for him too, and they began dating. However, just like in "Ticket to Ride," Josie leaves for Massachusetts to go to college, leaving Jesse to feel sad that she is going away. However he promises that he will come get her eventually, and they will be together again.
I imagine this song being played at Willie's funeral, strangly enough. She was a strong person who always maintained a tough exterior and lived in style. Willie's funeral emulated her lifestyle, in honor to her. There were many, many people in attendance and flowers everywhere. Willie was dressed to the nines, laid out in a black coffin with red satin. Her elaborate funeral was a testament to Willie's personality and way of living, and brings to mind this song.
"Maxwell's Silver Hammer" is a song that tells the story of a seemingly- psychopathic murderer. "Out of the Easy," has a murder mystery woven into its storyline. A kind, upstanding man Josie meets is found dead just days after their encounter, and Josie is driven by curiosity to try to discover who is to blame for the murder.
What people are Saying
"This is the second book I have read by Ruta Sepetys and I must say she is quickly becoming a favorite author to me! This is a well researched, beautifully written 1950's historical. You really get the feel of being in New Orleans in 1950."- Amazon reviews
"Reading Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys lead me to conclude that there aren’t enough YA books set in a) the 1950’s and b) New Orleans. And yet, only a writer of Sepetys’ skill and confidence could have successfully written such a story. Out of the Easy is a murder mystery first, a coming of age story second, and about twenty other things in between. It is a story of great complexity, and yet paradoxically, it is also a very simple one." - Goodreads reviews
I would give "Out of the Easy" five stars. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a thought-provoking, enjoyable read. It really gives you an interesting perspectrive on what life would have been like in New Orleans in this time. There is no way to tell exactly what will happen next in this book, keeping the reader interested.