Yes, I would listen to this audio book again! I absolutely loved listening to Elizabeth McGovern. She played the characters well without sounding like she was acting or trying to pull something off. She was clear and well spoken, adding her own touches to the cadence of words and feelings.
The story is fantastic. I loved the characters. There was nothing glorified, no one personality that overshadowed one over another. There was of course a main character but there were supporting characters that presented and gave importance to the story line. These too had strong personalities and/or important roles but really they all came together so seemlessly. I loved that I had a chance to not only get a glimpse into their lives but feel as though I had actually sat down and had coffee together. I loved being a part of their life for this short time and was sorry to have to say goodbye to them as the book came to a close.
This is the first book I've listened to by Laura Moriarty and I see that she does indeed have more books I will look forward to reading and/or listen to. I haven't yet checked but I will see if Elizabeth McGovern has more novels she has narrated. She is perfect and has a perfect voice for narration.
The decision Cora makes before she leaves to go back to Wichita.
This is the first performance by Elizabeth McGovern that I have had the pleasure of listening to. She was fantastic! There are some narrators that are easily forgotten and some that are worth remembering. She is worth remembering.
From Unwrapped Candy to Unwrapped Hearts
I enjoyed The Chaperone from start to finish. The interesting story line and outstanding performance put this audiobook amongst my all time favorites.
Perhaps I should not review this if I actually was unable to finish it, but I absolutely could not get over Elizabeth McGovern's performance of Cora with "old-lady" creakiness in her voice even though Cora is only 36! She comes across as Louise's crotchety old grandmother, instead of being a mature,but still vibrant, woman. I did not feel the story in the first quarter was compelling enough to make me forget about the part of the narration and I had to turn it off. Perhaps another time...
I was not aware of this book or even the author but chose it based on reviews I read here. Thank you! I loved this book and I think the narrator was the best that I've heard. It was both entertaining and thought provoking. I never, ever read or listen to books twice but I think this one will be my first.
Absolutely. It was engaging and personal, painting a very clear picture.
There were lots. The train rides (both for Cora as a child & then again as an adult to escort Louis to NY), learning to play "Graces", grown-up Louis chatting with Cora who sits on the bedroom floor, seeing the Jazz musical on Broadway, Cora & her beau buying the radio for the orphans...I could go on.
I loved it so much, I've listened to it twice. I'll probably listen to it a third time.
An entertaining listen. The Help is still my favorite
Cora coming home and finding her husband. I didn't see that coming.
Birth control, homosexuality, unwed motherhood, orphans, adoption, child abuse, and more all part of the plot, and in the 20"s when those were "in the closet" topics. Entertaining, enjoyable.
Who else, but Cora, of course! Loved her.
I enjoyed everything about EM's performance...wow!
Tears rolled near the end when Cora embraced Raymond.
Reviewer, Amanda said it so well. I find that I'm kind of speechless now that I have finished this wonderful story.
Vivid, Faithful, Engaging
The most memorable moment in the novel was Louise telling Cora about her past which gives you the opportunity to view vividly Cora's inner battle of the values/morals that she was raised with and the emerging perception that we are all imperfect yet worthy.
McGovern's easy transition from one accent to another and even tone, which seems so very true to the era that the novel is set.
Labor or Treasure?
This book didn't know what it wanted to be - an introduction to Louise Brooks or a study in the nature of morality. Either would have been fine, but this tried to do both and lost something in the process. I thought the dynamic between Cora's conventionality and Louise's independence and rebelliousness was very good. Until the final part. Chapter after chapter rushing through decades, just so that the story could give you a sense of what happened to Louise Brooks over time. Do I want to know? YES I do! So I will go buy Brooks' memoire, Lulu in Hollywood. However, in this story, it just felt like lackluster add-on. The chapters focused on Cora about whom I did not care and gave us only glimpses of Louise who is absolutely fascinating. The book should have ended when the summer trip was over. That would have been a much better ending.
Elizabeth McGovern as Cora - how funny! With that said, she did a fabulous job.
This is one of those books that really hooked me in at first but fell off a bit towards the end. It's 1922, and Cora Carlisle, a respectable Wichita wife in her late thirties, is hired to accompany 15-year old Louise Brooks to New York City. Louise, who became a silent film star a few years later, had been accepted by the exclusive dance school run by Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn. Despite their age difference, it quickly becomes clear that it's Cora, not Louise, who is the more naive. Wherever they go, the beautiful Louise attracts male attention--and seems to know just what to do with it.
The story is more that of Cora than of Louise. The main reason that she wants to go to New York is to find out about her birth parents. She vaguely remembers a dark-haired woman holding her and singing in a foreign language, but her earliest clear memories are of the Catholic orphanage where she was raised to about age seven. Cora was one of thousands of orphaned children who were put on trains and shipped to potential parents in the plains states. Fortunately, her adoptive parents were loving and kind, but as she grew, Cora's life was not untouched by tragedy. In a day when adoption records were sealed, Cora attempts to find out who where she came from, who she really is.
The confrontations between Cora and Louise are exactly what one would expect, Cora constantly reminding her charge that she mustn't allow herself to be "compromised," Louise scoffing at Cora's old-fashioned Christian morality. This leads to a lot of self-examination on the chaperone's part, including the revelation of family secrets. But it isn't long before Louise is invited to join the Denis-Shawn company, and Cora heads back to Wichita--but not exactly to the same life.
The last quarter of the novel rushes through 50+ years of Cora's life, with occasional mentions and sightings of Louise. Overall, it seems rushed, and rather formulaic, all the 'surprises' too anticipated: hence the 3.5 rating. The rush is even more pronounced because the section on Louise seems rather dragged out. Think about the balance: 3/4 of the book focused on a few months in 1922 (plus Cora's memories), 1/3 covering the next 50+ years.
Overall, it's not a bad read, just slightly disappointing in the end. One thing I did get out of it was a renewed interest in Louise Brooks, one of the most distinctively stunning and most controversial actresses of the silent film era.