The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty.

The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty.The Chaperone

Penguin, 2012.

Review by Laura Parish.

About the book:

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.

I loved this book – a story about two women and their journey of self-discovery.

Fictional accounts based around ‘real people’ have always intrigued me which is what I think drew me to this story in particular as the silent film star, Louise Brooks is featured. Before reading, I didn’t know too much about her.

However, it is Cora’s story that is the main focus of the plot and her story and situation equally interested me and kept me turning the page to the point where I couldn’t seem to stop reading.

I was never certain where the plot was going to take me and there were a few plot twists and surprises.

Cora, at the beginning of the book seems to have a perfect life but when she has the chance to head to New York as Brooks’ Chaperone, she harbours her own agenda; to find out who she is and where she has come from and then embarks on a fascinating journey, revealing that her ordinary and seemingly simple and outwardly perfect life isn’t what it seems and has many layers. Cora is a strong character and one I found I invested a lot in.

I also found Louise Brooks to be as captivating as Cora and I have to admit, I found myself researching more about her after I’d finished reading. Louise, despite her general air of confidence is as lost as Cora and this adds an interesting dynamic to their sometimes forced relationship.

Overall, I loved The Chaperone. A book about self-discovery, love and acceptance.​

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I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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