"The Chaperone," by Laura Moriarty
New York Times bestseller, The Chaperone is a captivating novel about the woman who chaperoned an irreverent Louise Brooks to New York City in the 1920s and the summer that would change them both.
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.
This is our book club choice for September. I was under the impression it was more about the silent film star Louise Brooks, but the book actually focuses more on Cora Carlisle, who was Louise's chaperone one summer in the 1920's. It's a book of both fact and fiction, and is full of historical references throughout.
I have to say some of the things that happened took my breath away and I know I said to myself:
"Well I didn't see that coming!"
Cora's life was certainly full of surprises and it was a joy to see her "grow" throughout the book. Going from a straight laced, prim and proper lady, to a woman whose mind was open to living life and seeing things from other people's point's of view. However all through her life she could never let go of making sure people only saw her as that prim and proper lady.
Stars out of 5 : 5 A great read that you will not want to put down. What happens throughout parts of the book made you go "WHAT??" It also makes you think about how relationships change throughout the years. This is a book that you should read, very interesting. A great book club choice.