The Chaperone

  • Type: Books
  • By: Laura Moriarty
  • Age Category: Adults
  • Genre: Historical Fiction
  • Recommended by: Sheryl M.
  • ISBN/UPC: 9781594487019
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Entertaining, upbeat and informative

In The Chaperone Laura Moriarty, uses the real life world of silent film star Louise Brooks as the backdrop for this entertaining look at a woman coming to terms with herself and the world about her during a rapidly changing time in American history.

The book is basically three stories as told by Cora Carlisle, “a traditional woman”, who accompanies young, irreverent, Louise to New York City in 1922. The first is based on Louise’s life, her talented, neglectful parents and Cora’s first impressions of them. Second is Cora’s life as an adopted orphan in Kansas and her marriage to a prominent lawyer; a heart tugging, surprising story clarifying the events shaping her thoughts. And third, her life after the trip. The character of Cora is well drawn out, with strength, insight and growth. Marketed as a summer read, the book has more substance than I expected. It explores gender issues and the changing social and sexual mores of the time.

Later, I had to find out more about Louise Brooks and Louise does not disappoint. In her trademark black bobbed hairstyle, she often played a strong willed child-woman who encounters work houses, pregnancies and powerful men. She said she only played herself. She defied convention, rose to the top and fell into obscurity, emerging years later to write critically acclaimed articles about her life, which are gathered together in a book entitled Lulu in Hollywood.