The Chaperone - Laura Moriarty
Author: Laura Moriarty
Published: 2013 (first published 2012)
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Surrey Public Library
Description: Only a few years before becoming a famous silent-film star and an icon of her generation, a fifteen-year-old Louise Brooks leaves Wichita, Kansas, to study with the prestigious Denishawn School of Dancing in New York. Much to her annoyance, she is accompanied by a thirty-six-year-old chaperone, who is neither mother nor friend. Cora Carlisle, a complicated but traditional woman with her own reasons for making the trip, has no idea what she’s in for. Young Louise, already stunningly beautiful and sporting her famous black bob with blunt bangs, is known for her arrogance and her lack of respect for convention. Ultimately, the five weeks they spend together will transform their lives forever.
For Cora, the city holds the promise of discovery that might answer the question at the core of her being, and even as she does her best to watch over Louise in this strange and bustling place she embarks on a mission of her own. And while what she finds isn’t what she anticipated, she is liberated in a way she could not have imagined. Over the course of Cora’s relationship with Louise, her eyes are opened to the promise of the twentieth century and a new understanding of the possibilities for being fully alive.
Thoughts: I first read the book back in April 2013 and in the almost 7 years since I had read the book, I had forgot large portions of the book, but reading it brought back quite a bit of it back. Reading it for the second time made me sympathize more with Cora and made me more aware of the actual story line than I had been the first time I had read it and I think I enjoyed it more this time around, but really did feel that the third part was too rushed and made little sense.
Bottom line: I enjoyed the book just as much as I did the first time around, but I empthetized with Cora much more this time around and would recommend the book.