Recently, I finished reading Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys. In a previous post (The Things We Take For Granted) I discussed another one of her novels, Between Shades of Gray, and as in that post I’m not going to talk the plot in detail. After all, I don’t want to spoil anything for those who may want to read either of these books. (And I do highly recommend them).
Out of the Easy.
The Big Easy.
The first line of the book is, “My mother’s a prostitute.” (And that sure does pack and punch.) With Josie as the narrator, this appears to be the way she describes herself, but I can only imagine there’s so much more to her as a person. As the reader, from the very beginning, I could tell Josie was different from her mother and more than a prostitute’s daughter. She didn’t want to be a part of that life. She was smart and wished to continue her education by attending college. An elite college. Josie dreamed of being more she was, more then the life she was born into.
The choices Josie makes throughout the book will shape her future.
The story is set in 1950 Louisiana. New Orleans. Josie lives in what is called the Quarters and it’s not the nicest place, for many reasons. Lucky for her she has a few friends who always have her back.
While I was reading, I had a few recurring thoughts.
First, even though I’m not yet a mother, I kept wondering how Josie’s mother could treat her so horribly. She acted as if she didn’t even want her (and maybe she didn’t). Her mother cared more about money then anything else on earth. She appeared vain and obsessed with looking young and beautiful. This attitude influenced her choices and put her on a path that led to some pretty shady people and events.
But we’re all entitled to our own decisions.
Josie was basically estranged from her mother. She wanted to leave New Orleans and had been saving since she was a child. I didn’t think it was fair that she was a smart girl who always did well in school, but because of her mother’s reputation, Josie was treated like trash.
But life is rarely fair.
Regardless, we can’t let obstacles stand in the way of our dreams.
I think my point is pretty straight forward. (Then again, maybe I’m wrong.) Either way, we are the decision makers in our lives. Everyday we make choices that shape our future, big and small.
Think of the decisions you make on a daily basis. Sometimes it can be as simply as what to wear to work or whether you should have that second cup of tea.
Now think of the major decisions you’ve made in your life. These are the decisions that have helped shape our lives over the course of time.
I know I’ve had to make some major choices in my life and sometimes these can be the hardest.
Everyday we come up against things we have to choose between, whether we realize it or not, and everyday we carve our path further and further and down life’s road.
Josie was born into a life she realized she didn’t want to be a part of. She didn’t want to be her mother. She didn’t want to be a prostitute. Her dreams in life and her ambitions were stronger than her living situation. She wouldn’t settle. Josie was faced with tough choices, but she always sided with the one that fit her morals and propelled her toward her dreams.
Just like Josie, I believe everyone has the opportunity to better themselves.
Isn’t that part of life, to overcome obstacles?
No matter your belief, I think we can all agree that the opportunities are always available. Sometimes they’re right at your fingertips and sometimes you have to fight for them.