4.75 out of 5
- 377 pages
- Publisher: Riverhead (June 5, 2012)
- Sold by: Penguin Publishing
- Language: English
With her bobbed black hair and strikingly red lipstick, Louise Brooks was a femme fatale in early Hollywood movies. In this latest novel from Moriarty (The Center of Everything), a teenage Louise heads to New York City in 1922 from her home in Wichita, chaperoned by proper Kansas matron Cora Carlisle. Once in New York, Louise is accepted by the renowned Denishawn School of Dancing and is on her way to fame. An innocent young adult she is not—hard as nails, she is both self-promoting and self-destructive. The real story here, however, is about Cora, a kind soul despite the shocks she has endured at several crucial times in her life. Cora's visit to New York gives her a new perspective and changes her life in unexpected ways. The novel, which spans the next six decades of Cora's life, also reminds us how dramatically American life changed over the 20th century.
I liked this novel a lot. As the title states, this novel is mainly about Cora, chaperon to a 17 year old Louise Brooks.
The story begins in 1922, Louise Brooks then 16 has been selected to join the Denishawn School of dancing...the rest is history...Louise Brooks will be on her way to fame.
Here the novel becomes Cora's story, her interest in New York has little to do with her charge, Louise. Cora has a heartbreaking interest in New York which held my attention throughout. Also this is a novel and Cora a character, some of the events she will encounter did happen to real people.The Chaperon will take you from heartbreak to surprises, to fulfillment, not necessarily in this order. It is a fully satisfying tale.
If you have an interest in Louise Brooks, which I have after reading the novel, in her later years Miss Brooks wrote her own biography to great reviews for her intelligent and erudite writing: