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The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty

The Chaperone (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Laura Moriarty

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9911018,651 (3.97)72
Title:The Chaperone
Authors:Laura Moriarty
Info:Riverhead Hardcover (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:family, relationships, lgbt, New England, US, 1920s, orphans, New York, adoption, historical fiction

Work details

The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty (2012)

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    Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates (becksdakex)
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plenty of turns and twists in this story about a mother with a little extra time on her hands that decides to accompany an aquaintances daughter to New York for a month long dance study. Morality, birth control, sexuality and acceptance of all different lifestyles and their restrictions come up in this turn of the century story. ( )
1 vote Lilalu | Jan 14, 2015 |
Read this book once, and then re-read for a book club meeting. The story centers on Cora Kauffman Carlisle as she chaperones Louise Brooks oin NYC, and then Cora's life upon her return home. This is historical fiction: Louise Brooks' story is true but Cora's is fictional. Very detailed during the NYC stay, but following that it goes very fast through the years. ( )
1 vote cindyb29 | Jan 13, 2015 |
It would seem that Cora's role as chaperone to the difficult Louise in New York altered her complacent life forever. I believe that because Cora's life was so unusual from the start she was already more sensitive, mature and intelligent. Her peculiar marital situation and its accompanying loneliness made her more aware of nuances. It is in New York that she learns just why Louise is flirtatious, irascible, incorrigible, and irresponsible. The shock and pain she feels push her to re-examine most of the ridiculous social mores she was taught as a child.

Perhaps her life in Wichita would have eventually changed but the trip to New York acted as the catalyst, an exciting, eye-opening experience. New York tested and shifted Cora's feelings on parental love, sexuality, racism, responsibility, and caring for oneself.

I enjoyed reading The Chaperone but felt the second half of the book, after Cora returns to Wichita, was rushed and less realistic (she brings Joseph back with her?!).

All in all a good read. ( )
1 vote Bookish59 | Dec 7, 2014 |
Two women: Louise and Cora are thrown together in this story that travels from Wichita, KS to the bustle of New York City during the 1920's. Louise is Louise Brooks--destined to be a star but in this book a teenage dancer full of dreams. Cora is hired to be her chaperone, but she has ulterior motives for travelling to New York and secrets that no one--least of all Louise--would ever guess. As Louise bursts upon New York determined to experience all of the night life the city has to offer, Cora tries her best to fulfill her duties as a chaperone. She is distracted by the burning desire she has to find her birth mother, however, which is the real reason she wanted to come to New York. How her secrets do or do not come out, and the guidance she tries to give to the enigmatic Louise give this book a lot of tension and character that kept me turning the pages. Some of the revelations and tidy endings were a bit much to stomach, however. Still, I'd recommend this to fans of historical fiction who like tidy, happy endings and strong female characters. ( )
  debs4jc | Dec 2, 2014 |
This book was amazing!The characters were so well developed. I really liked how the story went all the way up to the end of Cora's life, too, not just dropped off at the end of chaperoning.

I listened to the audiobook, and the narrator did an amazing job. ( )
1 vote ariel.kirst | Nov 14, 2014 |
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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
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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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