Review: The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty

Posted 10 May, 2012 by Pushy in Blog, Blog Tour, Bookworms, Pushy, Pushy Book Review / 23 Comments

The Chaperone

Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication: June 5th 2012 by Riverhead Hardcover
Book provided by TLC Book Tours for review
Get your own: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound
synopsis from goodreads
Rating:
 
A captivating novel about the woman who chaperoned an irreverent Louise Brooks to New York City in 1922, and the summer that would change them both. Only a few years before becoming a famous actress and an icon for her generation, a fifteen-year-old Louise Brooks leaves Wichita to make it big 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 is a complicated but traditional woman with her own reasons for making the trip. She has no idea what she’s in for: Young Louise, already stunningly beautiful and sporting her famous blunt bangs and black bob, is known for her arrogance and her lack of respect for convention. Ultimately, the five weeks they spend together will change their lives forever. For Cora, New York holds the promise of discovery that might prove an answer to the question at the center of her being, and even as she does her best to watch over Louise in a strange and bustling city, she embarks on her own mission. And 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.
 
Historical fiction is at it’s best in Laura Moriarty’s poignant, compelling novel about secrets, self-discovery and the birth of the modern age.

The Roaring 20s

I’ve been enchanted with the era of the 1920s, like many other Americans, since I read The Great Gatsby in high school. There’s something in the freedom in that era that speaks to the young at heart and so it is with great pleasure that I have noticed an up-tick in the presence of the ’20s in historical fiction as of late. So when I was approached to read this book by the amazing ladies at TLC Book Tours I immediately jumped at the chance (seriously, it was embarrassing how quickly I wrote back screaming, “YES!!!!!!!!!!!!). And I’m so, so, so happy I did!

Two vastly different women, one AMAZING place in time…

This story centers around Cora Carlisle, a well-respected, near middle-aged matron from the staid Midwestern town of Witchita, Kansas and the young Louise Brooks, a girl destined to be both famous and infamous, their trip to New York City one hot summer in 1922 and how that summer changed their lives. Louise Brooks is a historical figure and one who had an enormous impact on the world of film. When one thinks of the smoldering, dark haired vixens of the silent screen, it is Louise Brooks’s image that comes to mind.

But it is Cora, the woman who accompanies Louise to New York when she is 15 and just at the start of her stage career, that takes center stage in this amazing book.

Cora is 36, her sons are grown and she has a secret…one that compels her to take young Louise to NYC, despite her concerns over Louise’s very absent parents and Louise’s obvious, rebellious tendancies. Still, for Cora, there are few respectible ways to go to New York on her own in this era so she takes the chance.

Cora is a practical woman, a woman who has endured hardships that her peers would never guess at and she is very much a woman who embodies the ethos of women at this time in America: she is a firm believer in the social and moral constructs of her era and yet there is a spark in her that responds to the growing rebellious spirit of the age.

And when she takes her chance and does go to New York, her life blooms in ways she had no way to possibly know would happen and it’s such an amazing processes to take in.

My how I loved this book!

I immediately and completely identified with Cora. I was drawn into this story right from the start and the pages flew by as I was immersed deeper and deeper into this story. This story of growth and liberation enthralled me from the start and never let me go.

I loved Cora’s strength, her ability to grow and her heart. She’s the kind of character that will leave you thinking and feeling long after you’ve turned the last page.

Bewitched Rating

Bottom Line

This is an amazing slice of Americana and life as told through the eyes and heart an exceptional character who endures and thrives through exceptional times.
 

 

Additional Notes

If you are at all intrigued by my review, but you need some more convincing, check out what these other, amazing TLC tour hosts have to say about this fantastic book:

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
Wednesday, May 9th: Verb Vixen

and stay tuned to find out what these upcoming tour hosts have to say:

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: An Avid Reader’s Musings
And don’t forget to let me know:  are you a fan of historical fiction?  What’s your favorite era or historical person to read about?  Let me know in the comments!
 
Now go and get lost…in a book!
 
 
Lover of words and authors; absolute fan girl of books! Give me a good story, with characters I can love (and hate) and I’ll follow you anywhere. Sing me a song of worlds I can dream of, and I’ll listen forever.

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23 Responses to “Review: The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty”

  1. LOL Pushy! The presence of the ’20s in historical fiction is to you like fairytale books is to me — totally and completely YAY-worthy!! x) Cora doesn’t seem like the kind of heroine I usually read about, but I think that that’s the reason why I’m she’s so intriguing to me! She’s not like those hardheaded teenagers I’m used to reading about; instead she’s practical, and I kind of love her for it!

    Awesome review, Pushy! Happy and positive reviews like yours always make me want to pick up a book ASAP! 😉 <3
    Mimi Valentine recently posted..Review: Dark KissMy Profile

    • Thanks, Mimi!!!! Reading this was a refreshing change for me too! Still lots to keep me interested, just minus some of the broody teen stuff. But you know I love me my YA…. 😀

      Have a great day!!!!

  2. I knew my post didn’t go through! I had a crash while I was trying to post. Anyway, I was saying that I love silent film actors. I think they worked very hard for their money! And I loved this time period in America. I might venture into the adult realm to read this one since you liked it so much!

    Heather
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  3. Charlenevans09

    You really have a great review on this book. It made me imagine the 20’s century looks like and the people too..
    I should check your links here to see more interesting books. Thanks for this.
    Charlenevans09 recently posted..handMy Profile

  4. The 20s!? Wow that’s different! I don’t usually go for historicals mostly bc I have a hard time relating to the old fashion ways and the writing is often toom uch too. But if I do like it, I love it – like The Help (which was only like the 60s but still). I’ll definitely keep this one in mind it sounds to have fabulous characters. Also the fact that it’s adult is actually a plus, I’ve been in need of a good adult book to get a break from all the teenage angst >.<

  5. I am loving more and more historical fiction, with the exception of world war books for whatever reason. Give me some medieval or renaissance reads any time. This is the first review I’ve read for this book and now I’m really looking forward to reading it.

    Our Media Mail post is at Book Sake. –Jessica
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