On a summer's day in 1922, Cora Carlisle boards a train from Wichita, Kansas to New York City, leaving behind a marriage that's not as perfect as it seems and a past that she buried long ago. She is charged with the care of a stunning young girl with a jet-black fringe and eyes wild and wise beyond her fifteen years. This girl is hungry for stardom, and Cora for something she doesn't yet know. Cora will be many things in her lifetime- an orphan, a mother, a wife, a mistress- but in New York she is a chaperone and her life is about to change.Laura Moriarty has written an extremely interesting book. The Chaperone is the story of Cora Carlisle who is charged with being a chaperone to Louise Brooks as she enrolls in a dance studio in New York. Laura Moriarty's books is fictional , however Louise Brooks was a real person, a famous silent movie actress who led a very dramatic life on and off screen.
It is here under the bright lights of Broadway, in a time when prohibition reigns and speakeasies with their forbidden whispers behind closed doors thrive, that Cora finds what she has been searching for. It is here, in a time when illicit thrills and daring glamour sizzle beneath the laws of propriety that her life truly begins. It is here that Cora and her charge, Louise Brooks, take their first steps towards their dreams.
The Chaperone is set in the 1920's and I loved how Moriarty really captured the feeling of change. Cora is the main character and she is taken out of a small town in Kansas and thrust into glamorous New York. Her perception, morals and values are constantly challenged and not just by Louise, but by the world around her.
Cora has another reason for visiting New York. As a young girl she was adopted and New York holds the key to the secrets of her past. What will she discover and will she ever be able to return to her old life after having her eyes thoroughly opened?
Laura Moriarty's writing is superb, she creates such vivid images in your mind and the pace of the book was excellent. The Chaperone is only 366 pages long but Moriarty packs so much in; racism, prohibition, sex, lies, love, loyalty and betrayal. If you like extremely well written historical fiction or if you are just after a really good story then have a look at The Chaperone, it is an excellent read.
Dot Scribbles Rating 4/5
Many thanks to Penguin for sending me a copy of the book to review, The Chaperone is out now.