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The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty
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The Chaperone (2012)

by Laura Moriarty

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,5071387,355 (3.89)80
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» See also 80 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 144 (next | show all)
At first, I was frustrated by the main character's obvious judgments and considered her (Cora) to be a wallflower. But as the story went on and more was revealed about her, I fell in love with Cora's strength. She reminded me, in many ways, of my own mother. Just because a person sits silently through turbulent times and appears to be a push-over, doesn't mean they aren't forging their own path to the other side.

The one thing that was a bit bothersome for me was the large time gaps that existed throughout the last third of the book. It was as if the author was trying to manipulate this book into an epic saga. Overall, though, I really enjoyed The Chaperone and was sad to see it end. ( )
  loveleelisa | Jan 5, 2019 |
Personally, I think this book was too long. I really enjoyed the first 3/4ths, but after Cora went back to Wichita, it felt like 150 pages of unnecessary epilogue. Cora lived a long happy life, all their secrets were kept successfully, and Louise was more or less miserable for the rest of her life. Cora’s son going to the Pacific and coming back unharmed, the part where Louise moves back home, and Alan’s death were just boring.

Much like how I’ve already made my point, but I’m still writing this review, less is more. ( )
  Iloveblue11 | Dec 10, 2018 |
I read this for my book club and was pleasantly surprised. It started out lightly, but got more complex as it went on. Well developed characters. ( )
  Thebrownbookloft | Jun 29, 2018 |
This book is perfect for summer -- light but not too lightweight -- an ideal beach read. I read it quickly and thoroughly enjoyed it, although Cora was Mary-Sued a bit toward the end. ( )
  GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
I was pleasantly surprised by The Chaperone. I picked it up for research purposes on the year of 1922, and I soon found myself engrossed by the plot and the complicated, sympathetic character of Cora. Cora is in her late 30s and in a very unhappy and imbalanced marriage when she agrees to act as a chaperone for the gifted, headstrong 15-year-old Louise Brooks who has an opportunity to attend an elite dancing school in New York City. Cora has her own motivations to go: she was sent on an orphan train to the Midwest as a young child, and she wants to revisit her orphanage to perhaps find out more information about her parents.

The plot develops in surprising ways. I won't give any spoilers, but I will say that Cora's eyes are opened in a major way. The summer of 1922 changes her entire life by forcing her out of her sheltered Wichita protestant existence, exposing her to people of all skin colors and origins, and causing her to redefine what the word "family" means. The scope of the novel goes beyond 1922 to show the vast repercussions of her hard-earned life lessons, and it's an incredibly rewarding experience. How her life parallels with Louise Brooks is interesting, too. Louise became a sensation in the latter years of the silent film era, only to gain more notoriety for her drunkenness and lasciviousness than her acting work. Watch her on YouTube, and you can still see the incredible charisma and beauty she embodied on the screen. ( )
  ladycato | May 22, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 144 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Laura Moriartyprimary authorall editionscalculated
McGovern, ElizabethNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
When a lovely woman stoops to folly, she can always find someone to stoop with her but not always someone to lift her up again to the level where she belongs. - "Mr. Grundy", For Atlantic Monthly 1920

It excited him, too, that many men had already loved Daisy-it increased her value in his eyes. - F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, 1925

There is not Garbo! There is no Dietrich! There is only Louise Brooks! - Henri Langlois, 1955
Dedication
First words
The first time Cora heard the name Louise Brooks, she was parked outside the Wichita Library in a Model-T Ford, waiting for the rain to stop.
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Book description
Only a few years before becoming a famous actress, a fifteen-year-old Louise Brooks leaves Witchita to make it big in NY. Much to her annoyance, she is accompanied by a thirty-six-year-old chaperone who is neither mother nor friend. Cora Carlisle is a complicated but traditional woman with her own reasons for making the trip. She has no idea what she's in store for: Young Louise, already stunningly beautiful and sporting her famous black bob and bangs, is known for her lack of respect for convention. Ultimately, the five weeks they spent together will change their lives forever. For Cora, NY holds the promise of self-discovery, and even as she does her best to watch Louise in a strange and bustling city, she embarks on her own mission. While what she finds isn't what she anticipated, it liberates her in a way she could not have imagined. Over the course of the summer, Cora's eyes are opened to the promise of the twentieth century and a new understanding of the possibilities for being fully alive. (ARC)
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"A novel about the friendship between an adolescent, pre-movie-star Louise Brooks, and the 36-year-old woman who chaperones her to New York City for a summer, in 1922, and how it changes both their lives"--

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