Out of the Easy Summary & Study Guide

Ruta Sepetys
This Study Guide consists of approximately 43 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Out of the Easy.
This section contains 526 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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Out of the Easy Summary & Study Guide Description

Out of the Easy Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

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“Out of the Easy” is a young adult novel by Ruta Sepetys which follows 17-year-old Josie Moraine’s efforts to get out from under the shadow of her mother’s work as a prostitute, to leave New Orleans, and to attend college in Massachusetts. When the novel begins, Josie has saved up a few hundred dollars to put her plan into action. She earns money from Willie Woodley’s brothel in the French Quarter where she works as a housemaid, and from working at Marlowe’s Bookshop with the owner’s son, Patrick. Josie has lived in a small but cozy apartment over the bookshop since she was young, provided by Patrick and his father so Josie could stay away from her mother.

Josie has a poor relationship with her mother, who is quick to hit and resents being a mother, blaming Josie for dragging her life down. As a result, Josie does her best to stay away from her mother, especially because her mother is dating a violent criminal named Cincinnati. Josie does her best to focus on getting out of New Orleans, and takes comfort in her friendship with Patrick which often seems like it might be more. Josie has long wondered about who her father might be, and imagines that it must be a man named Forrest Hearne who visits the bookshop on New Year’s Eve. Forrest is a gentleman and purchases a book of poetry for his wife, and the Dickens novel “David Copperfield” for himself. Forrest asks Josie if she’ll be attending college, and believes she seems familiar to him. Neither Josie, nor Forrest, can understand why –though it is later imagined that Forrest may have actually been Josie’s father.

Josie is stunned to learn the next day that Forrest has died. His death is initially ruled natural, but an autopsy and the theft of his personal possessions reveals that he was murdered. Josie has a cruel encounter with her mother and Cincinnati, who reveal they are suddenly leaving for California. This makes Josie happy, and causes Willie – the madam at whose house Josie’s mother works – to tell Josie to truly cut off all ties with her mother. Willie even agrees to send Josie to college if Josie remains local. But a chance encounter and subsequent friendship with a visiting Smith College freshman named Charlotte encourages Josie to apply.

Ultimately, Josie comes to learn that her mother was involved in Forrest’s death, and that she borrowed money from local mobster Marcello to buy an alibi. But her mother’s debt has now passed on to Josie. Josie experiences soon after suffers heartbreak as she learns that Patrick does not want her because Patrick is gay. As a result, Josie grows closer to her friend, Jesse, instead. He and Josie end up in a relationship, while Willie pays off Josie’s inherited debt. Willie dies of a heart attack soon afterwards, leaving much of her wealth to Josie. This enables Josie the chance to attend college if she is accepted. When the novel ends, Jesse drives Josie up to Massachusetts for an interview.

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This section contains 526 words
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