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.
Today 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.
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