That Jo is aware and not just of herself, but of the people around her and the circumstances as well as expectations she has and others have, is but one positive. That the place and the time come clear across is another. That Out of the Easy is not a one-track story of down-on-her luck girl trying to get out of where she’d started is yet another of its many selling points.
What we have is a very easy to like teenage girl who knows who she is, where she comes from, but does not flounder because of it. There’s honesty to her portrayal. Things aren’t all roses, true. She acknowledges the same, but isn’t limited by it as she works through and does what she has to and the same time keeps herself to what could be. Her juggling things as she does gets even more interesting with a mysterious death that pulls her in.
It’s that last complication that allow for the place and the time to become even easier to imagine. In getting to answers she’s not sure she wants, she comes up against certain characters, and those plus the people she works with as well as those already in her neighborhood make for a colorfully vivid image of New Orleans in the 50’s.
Yet more interesting: with each answer obtained, we have more and more instances of her doubting, questioning, wondering what the effects all these truths had on her and hers. So no, it’s not just Jo; it’s her and her family – the one she’s been born into and the one of her making.