I have a talent for finding four-leaf-clovers. Sometimes I leave them in their patch, but most times I carefully bring them home, press them in waxed paper, and store them in large books. Sometimes I share them with others. But I do not think they really bring luck. A wise mentor in my life refrained from wishing others luck, believing that we make our own circumstances what they are. Still, there are times when I wonder.
Take Josie Moraine, the main character in OUT OF THE EASY, the latest book by Ruta Sepetys. The daughter of a prostitute, she grows up in New Orleans, cared for by Willie, the madame who runs her mother's brothel. She lives in a small room above a bookstore in the Quarter in exchange for working at the shop. In addition, she spends every morning cleaning at the house for Willie. Despite her circumstances, Josie has maintained excellent grades in high school and hopes to attend college. The girl has not been lucky. I cannot imagine her even using the word.
Yet she is loved deeply by Charlie, the bookstore owner, and his son Patrick, by Sadie, the mute cook at the house, by Cokie, the driver of Willie's enormous Cadillac named Mariah, by Jesse, a young man who watches out for her on the streets, and especially by Willie herself. Most of what occurs in her life is out of Josie's control. Still, she plans and works and negotiates, hoping to change the course of her life. She appreciates all the ways she has been fortunate.