Author: Ruta Sepetys
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Published Date: March 7th, 2013
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, YA
Page Count: 346
My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
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 to 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.
"Sometimes we set off down a road thinkin' we're goin' one place and we end up another. But that's okay. The important thing is to start."Ruta Sepetys is becoming a must-read author for me.
I had tried to read this book a little earlier this year, but just could not get into it. So I put, it off for a while and then picked it up once again and this time I absolutely loved it.
In this story, we follow Josie a teenager whose mother is a brothel prostitute and is the most uncaring person in the whole story. Despite this though Josie becomes independent at a very young age living above a bookshop at the age of 11, and working there from then on. With the help of the bookshop owner
Charlie, his son Patrick, Willie the brothel Madam, and Cokie the cab driver, Josie finishes high school and then works in the bookshop full-time while cleaning the brothel to earn money to go to college as far away from New Orleans as possible. Sadly everything got turned upside down when her mother's boyfriend, Cincinatti, comes back to town. From then on everything goes to crap. Charlie's health gets even worse, Josie's mother becomes involved in a murder, and Josie has a hard time getting accepted into Smith University due to finances and not having enough extracurricular activities.
On top of all of this, we have a slight love interest. There is Patrick who she has known she was little a grew up around, and there is also Jesse the boy that all of the girls in town want. I'm not going to lie a lot of the time I don't care about the whole love interests in books, but Sepetys always makes me like the ones she creates. I love how she makes the relationship slowly happen and it feels natural. I was so happy she ended up with who she did.
While the ending was sad I was happy how it turned out, and how everyone was able to end up "happy" in the end. I would love to see more of what happens to Josie.