Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty

In 1922, before her face was an icon of the silent film era silver screen, Louise Brooks was 15 years old and straining to break out of her predictable Midwestern life.  Offered the opportunity to study at the prestigious Denishawn School of Dancing in New York for the summer, Louise leaves Wichita accompanied by a chaperone, the course of her life starting to take shape.

Thirty-six year old Cora Carlisle, a virtual stranger to Louise, is seeking something too.  As an orphan in New York City, she was sent on a train to Kansas in the hopes of finding adoptive parents.  Though quietly content with her life and family, she hopes to find answers to her past in the city.

I found this story to be an interesting blend of fictional biography and period piece.  The story is told from Cora’s point of view as she struggles to manage not only Louise’s headstrong personality, but also her own opinions in a world at a crossroads.  Definitely a good read for fans of the 1920’s and historical fiction in general.

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