Book Review: The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty

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.
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. 
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.
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.


Nadia said...

This one sounds terrific! I can't wait to read it! Great p1ost, Dot!

Jo said...

I am so tempted by this, and having read your review I know I am going to love it. Off to add it to the list!

Dot said...

Nadia- thank you! I thought it was really interesting!

Jo- he,he! Hope you enjoy it!

jessicabookworm said...

This book sounds really interesting. The 20s is a decade I always find so fascinating. Might have to pop this on my wishlist.

Nikki-ann said...

I'm quite enjoying historical fiction at the moment and this sounds great :)

Dot said...

jessicabookworm- It was a really interesting read!

Nikki-ann- I hadn't read any historical fiction for ages so it was good to dip back into it.

Seattle IT Consulting said...

This is a book all women should read. In fact it could be a high school requirement. The details of a woman's life during the 1920's and how she matured and dealt with her situation is an incredible story of survival, acceptance and love. A must read.

Plumber Puyallup said...

This book is just wonderful. I read it very quickly because I had a hard time putting it down. An absolutely first-rate novel. I was so sorry when it ended and highly recommend this book. You will LOVE it. dye

BOOK REVIEW: Our Kind of Cruelty by Amarinta Hall

Mike understands that most of us travel through the world as one half of a whole, desperately searching for that missing person to make us...