Review: Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

Book Review of Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys by Teri Harman, @TeriHarman



It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street.

Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.

With characters as captivating as those in her internationally bestselling novel Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys skillfully creates a rich story of secrets, lies, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny.


Hmmm. I’m not really sure what to say about this book. I loved author Ruta Sepetys’s first book, Between Shades of Gray, but this one… Certainly, the writing was wonderful, the story interesting and the characters engaging, but it was the subject matter that chaffed me.

It just wasn’t pleasant to read about the life of prostitutes, Johns and a brothel house. I’m not an overly sensitive reader, but that’s an underbelly of life I’d rather not read about it. Of course, I knew that’s what the book was about, but I didn’t expect the detail. Not that it was dirty or descriptive, but it was – the best word I can use is – unsettling. I winced on several occasions.

It is a great story of triumph and rising about terrible circumstances, but I can’t say that I enjoyed it.

Content note: The subject matter of this book is not appropriate for young teens and I’d even hesitate offering it to older teens.

Have you read this new book? What did YOU think?

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