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.
Drawing on the rich history of the 1920s,’30s, and beyond—from the orphan trains to Prohibition, flappers, and the onset of the Great Depression to the burgeoning movement for equal rights and new opportunities for women—Laura Moriarty’s The Chaperone illustrates how rapidly everything, from fashion and hemlines to values and attitudes, was changing at this time and what a vast difference it all made for Louise Brooks, Cora Carlisle, and others like them.
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Fans of historical novels...are in luck. With "The Chaperone" a mesmerizing, moving story is here for the taking.Read Full Review of The Chaperone
...THE CHAPERONE is a fascinating portrait not only of a famous historical figure too little known these days, but also of the equally compelling "ordinary" woman who Moriarty imagines at her side.Read Full Review of The Chaperone
THE CHAPERONE takes her work on a really different course, and I am very impressed with how she changed gears.Read Full Review of The Chaperone
...she breaks narrative point-of-view periodically to wedge in just one more fact...which deadens the plot's energy every time...And while the novel continues for decades after that summer, Brooks is reduced to cameos and the storyline sags.Read Full Review of The Chaperone
Moriarty gives us a historically detailed and nuanced portrayal of the social upheaval that spilled into every corner of American life by 1922.Read Full Review of The Chaperone
The Chaperone is as dazzling, charming and seductive as Louise Brooks herself...Read Full Review of The Chaperone
...Wichita’s history...is beautifully recounted through the eyes of this undaunted woman.Read Full Review of The Chaperone
There is enough going on in this novel to keep even the flightiest reader engaged...Read Full Review of The Chaperone
I...enjoyed the look at social history in the US through Cora as a character. This novel was a terrific and memorable read.Read Full Review of The Chaperone
...Moriarty’s greatest strength proves to be her ability to seamlessly weave together Cora’s present, future and colorful past.Read Full Review of The Chaperone
...with the way the characters transform over the course of the book, I’m glad I read it...Read Full Review of The Chaperone
The Chaperone is a book you won’t want to put down.Read Full Review of The Chaperone
I was left wanting to find out more about Louise's life and couldn't help but wonder if a story about the girl portrayed on the cover would have made for a far more interesting read.Read Full Review of The Chaperone
...Laura Moriarty continues to amaze readers with her multifaceted, strong women characters and her incredible talent when it comes to storytelling.Read Full Review of The Chaperone
Moriarty excels at capturing lost Wichita and New York City streets and stations in quickly sketched detail...Read Full Review of The Chaperone
... I will be recommending to everyone. I suspect that readers who don’t normally read chick lit will also be enthralled with this wonderful novel.Read Full Review of The Chaperone
The Chaperone is a novel of identity and its fluidity, but it’s also a novel of decency and basic human understanding whose power is in highlighting the beauty of something as simple as acceptance and love.Read Full Review of The Chaperone
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