Book Review: The Chaperone

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The Chaperone 

Written by Laura Moriarty
Published by Riverhead on January 1, 2012 
Genre/ Topics: Adult Fiction, Historical Fiction
371 pages 
 

I read this book in two days, which either shows it was great or it was easy reading. I really enjoyed this book until the end. Basically, the plot is that a chaperone, Cora, travels with a young 15-year-old, Louise Brooks, to New York, for dance school. The book takes place during the 1920s and highlights women’s vote, clothing changes, prohibition, great depression, etc. Cora is a married women with two grown sons living in Kansas. She participates in society functions and follows all the ‘rules’ such as morals and how someone should dress. She travels to New York, in order to discover more about her past. Louise doesn’t enjoy following Cora’s rules and often tries to break free. Cora discovers herself more than just being the society woman, wife, and mother. Her spirit is almost awakened as she sees Louise act certain ways. Her life changes dramatically when she returns

Louise Brooks was an American dancer, model, and silent film actress.  Her film career and fame wasn’t always a success. If you’re hoping to learn more about Louise Brooks then this probably isn’t the book for you. In fact, she’s mainly in only the first third of the book. Brooks’ impact in the story is how she influenced her chaperone, Cora, during their trip to New York.

I really wasn’t pleased with the ending. Yes, Cora discovered herself while in New York, but I think it was too drastic than what probably would actually happen. There wasn’t too much character depth. The author seemed to need to include all details from this time period. Did I enjoy the book? Yes, but I didn’t love the book.

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