Goodreads ~ 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.
It's 1950 in New Orleans and 17-year-old Josie is the daughter of a whore named Louise. Louise has always blamed Josie for ruining her life so neglected and abused her. At twelve, Josie started sneaking into an office of a bookstore to spend the nights. The bookstore owner, Charlie, finds out and instead of kicking her out, turns it into an apartment for her thus providing her with a safe haven.
To earn a living, Josie spends mornings cleaning the brothel run by Willie, her mother's madam, and then works in Charlie's bookstore. She doesn't want the life of her mother and wants to escape New Orleans forever where she is known as a trashy whore's daughter.
Josie dreams of going to university and after a chance meeting with a rich new friend, she decides she wants to go to university back east. But first she must get accepted and find the $2000 a year it will cost to go.
Adding to her stress is that she is helping her friend, Patrick, take care of his dad, Charlie, the bookstore owner, who since a brutal attack has never been the same mentally. Plus Louise has taken up again with a violent scumbag named Cincinnati and they take off for California.
This is the first book I've read by this author and I really enjoyed it. I liked the writing style and found that it was well-paced. I read most of it on a recent flight home from Regina. Despite the subject matter, there is no swearing or mature language.
I liked the characters and thought Josie was well-developed. She's doing the best she can to get out of a bad situation and I was cheering for her. Despite the fact she was only 17 and 18 in the story, her life experiences gave her the maturity that most 17 and 18-year-olds don't have. Louise came across as a trashy uncaring selfish person ... she didn't deserve a daughter like Josie. Willie, while gruff and cranky, truly cares about Josie and those who are loyal to her including Cokie, her driver, and Sadie, who works in her kitchen. We get to know some of the prostitutes in Willie's brothel and the clients they service.
I would recommend this book!
I received a copy
of this book at no charge in exchange for my honest review.