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.
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. @goodreads
MY REVIEW:4 STARS
I wasn't sure I was going to like this book, but I was pleasantly surprised that I did :) I fell in love with so many characters in the book. I felt so bad for Josie having a mother who was a prostitute and didn't care for her at all. The brothel her mom was living in was owned by a woman named Willie and I really loved her. Willie's character was of a good woman, even though she ran a brothel. She was kind to those that needed to be kind to and put people right in their place if they needed that as well. I loved the fact that she became more of a mom to Josie than Josie's real mom. She taught her how to shoot guns and use her head. She gave her a job as a cleaner, unfortunately this involved cleaning up after all of the women after the fact the next day. Ewww!:)
For some reason, I kept picturing Willie as the character from one of my favorite movies, "Spirited Away". I kept picturing Yubaba when I read anything about Willie! LoL
The book is set in 1950's New Orleans as you can read in the blurb.
Josie lived above a bookstore that she also worked in, she lived there since she was a little girl of 12. The owner and author Charlie was very kind to her, she also worked with Charlie's son Patrick who was like a brother to her.
Josie's mom is trouble with a capital T. She seems to be in on stealing, murders, drugs and who knows what all else.
Josie meets a nice man that comes into the bookstore. She likes him because he seems like a really nice person and it seems there's not too many men like that around...but..he gets murdered and this really upsets Josie, there is a lot more to it but I won't get into that.
Josie decides she wants to try to get into a prestigious college away from New Orleans and does some really smart things to try to help her get there! Josie has had so many let downs in her life.
There is another character I love in the book, it's Cokie, he is Willie's driver. He loves driving around in Willie's Caddy :) He is a really sweet character. Some of the girls at the brothel are very sweet to Josie too. There is also a nice guy named Jesse that I had a crush on and it seemed Josie did too :)
The characters in this book are rich in detail and the way the author weaves the story makes you think your right there with Josie!
The ending was sad and brought tears to my eyes.. well a few things brought tears to my eyes.. tears of sadness and tears of happiness.
I was all over the place with this review, but Lord, I was trying my best not to give out spoilers! I have a hard time with that, I would liked to have talked in more detail about people and what all went on, I will just say... read the book :)
I look forward to reading more books by this author as this was my first by her :)
AMAZON LINK TO THE BOOK: