#429 ~ The Chaperone

The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty

Published by: Riverhead Books

Published on: June 5, 2012

Page Count: 384

Genre: Historical Fiction

My Reading Format: ARC provided to me by the publisher in order to participate in the book tour.

Available Formats: Hardcover, eBook, and Audiobook

Giveaway: Be sure to check out my giveaway of The Chaperone. Riverhead Books is graciously offering one lucky reader a personalized, signed copy of the book. The contest is open until  until 11:59 PM EST on Monday, May 28, 2012.

tlc-logo-resizedToday it is my great pleasure to be Laura Moriarty’s host on her TLC Book Tour.  This tour is to celebrate her novel, The Chaperone.

I have a lot of fun working as a tour host for TLC Book Tours.  They always have great books and authors on tour.  Check out their website for more information on this tour and the others that they are hosting.

My Review

Cora Carlisle is a 36-year-old wife and mother of grown sons when she agrees to act as a chaperone to the underage Louise Brooks while she is in New York City auditioning for the Denishawn modern dance company. It might seem to be an odd decision for an upstanding citizen of Witchita. Even before her days in Hollywood, Louise was know for being unconventional. Her short bobbed hair was just the beginning. Cora had her reasons for leaving her kind husband and beautiful home for five weeks. She might not have looked the part but Cora had her secrets and she firmly intended to use her time in the big city to find out the truth to her past. It mattered not how much trouble looking after Louise would cause. Before their time in New York together is over, the paths of their lives are forever changed.

Cora is a complex woman. While at first one thinks that she is a conventional woman who has led the standard, expected life of a Midwestern woman in the 1920s, Cora’s life is murkier even than her orphan past. It was appropriate to learn about the journey of her early life as she and Louise traveled by train to New York City. The second third of the novel was very difficult to put down, as Cora sees the limitations of her world view. She began to see that she was living inside a cocoon every bit as tight as her corset. I wanted her to be happy and having her take control of her emotional well being was gratifying.

Before reading this book, I was unfamiliar with Louise Brooks. She was quite a character both within The Chaperone and in real life. As someone who cared nothing for the social norms of her day, she was just the person to instigate the change in Cora that the older woman could not manage in her. This is not to say that Louise had a plan or her own set of standards. She was a young woman on a collision course with life. Her story showcased very clearly how coming from an intact family of wealth no more guaranteed a safe and healthy childhood and beginning life as an orphan. Louise’s background and personality led directly to her success and were certain causes in her less glamorous moments.

Laura Moriarty has taken an intriguing period of time and made it come alive. From the excitement of a young girl in New York City watching the Ziegfeld Follies to the Kansas dust storms, I was deliciously caught up in this world. Reading Cora’s story reminded me so much of A Good American. In both novels, the characters are coming to understand and help facilitate the changes America needs to progress into the future. Novels like these highlight how changing a nation happens one citizen at a time. The Kansas heat and the Louise Brooks connection is sure to make you want to rent some silent films and watch this unconventional woman shine while sipping a cool drink. This is a novel you won’t want to miss this summer. I highly recommend it!

Laura’s Tour Stops

Tuesday, May 1st: Sophisticated Dorkiness

Wednesday, May 2nd: bookchickdi

Thursday, May 3rd: From Left to Write

Friday, May 4th: Rayment’s Readings, Rants and Ramblings

Monday, May 7th: Frenzy of Noise

Thursday, May 10th: Bewitched Bookworms

Friday, May 11th: The Well-Read Wife

Monday, May 14th: Fire and Ice

Tuesday, May 15th: Book Journey

Wednesday, May 16th: Babbling About Books and More

Thursday, May 17th: Workaday Reads

Friday, May 18th: Verb Vixen

Saturday, May 19th: Midnight Book Girl

Wednesday, May 23rd: Kritters Ramblings

Friday, May 25th: Paperspines

Monday, May 28th: Sassymonkey Reads

Tuesday, May 29th: Picky Girl

Wednesday, May 30th: Chaos is a Friend of Mine

Thursday, May 31st: An Unconventional Librarian

Friday, June 1st: The 3 R’s: Reading, ‘Riting, and Randomness

Date TBD: An Avid Reader’s Musings

Date TBD: The Compulsive Reader

Date TBD: Never Too Fond of Books


  • At 2012.05.24 06:40, Sheila (Book Journey) said:

    Jennifer wasn’t this a great read? I enjoyed your review!

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    • At 2012.05.24 10:03, Erika Robuck said:

      I can’t wait to read this! Great review.

      • At 2012.05.24 10:51, bermudaonion (Kathy) said:

        I’m planning to read this on the plane on the way to BEA and I can’t wait!!

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          • At 2012.05.24 13:35, Anita said:

            I really want to read this book, lord like I need to add more books to my shelves or my ereader. Ugh. Wonderful review!!

            • At 2012.05.25 12:07, Kailana said:

              This book sounds really good, so I am glad to hear it is a good read!

              • At 2012.05.25 13:06, Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said:

                On “a collision course with life” is a great description on Louise!

                Thanks for being on the tour – I’m glad you enjoyed this one.

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                Monday, February 19th: Readaholic Zone
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                • At 2012.05.26 02:11, Marg said:

                  This sounds like such a great read, and I have only seen positive reviews of it so far! I am definitely adding it to my request list.

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                    • At 2012.05.31 03:14, Rachel said:

                      I loved this book too – I’m so glad it’s getting so many good reviews!

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