The Chaperone - Laura Moriarty

Title: The Chaperone
Author: Laura Moriarty
Pages: 371
Published: 2012
Genre: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction
Challenges: Historical Fiction
Edition: Hardcover
Source: 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. (via

Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book and when I was reading it, I was able to feel as though I was peering on Cora's life and her perception of it.  While it was a very enjoyable read, I felt that maybe the author could have cut out some of the stuff at the end, as I felt it detracted from the main story of the book and felt that the author could have delved a little deeper into the emotions that Cora felt about her biological mother and maybe the immediate aftermath of her trip to New York when she returns to Wichita.  How did she adjust after such a life-changing trip?

Bottom line: I would probably would recommend it to readers who have an interest in historical fiction and in the 1920s. I would also recommend it to those that like to read literary fiction.

Rating: 3.6/5

Pages for 2013: 4678


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