Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
OUT OF THE EASY BY RUTA SEPETYS (PENGUIN, 2013)
Josie has grown up in New Orleans, the daughter of a prostitute who could not care less about her. But Josie is smart and intent on making something of herself. Just as she starts dreaming of applying to Smith College, her world turns upside down. A man she met briefly in the bookstore where she works is found dead, her mother takes off with a low life criminal, and Josie is left to make sense of it all. This is a great portrait of the shady underbelly of 1950 New Orleans and a young girl who wants more than anything to put it in her past.