The Chaperone is a captivating novel about the woman who chaperoned an irreverent Louise Brooks to New York City in 1922, and the summer that would change them both.
Only a few years before becoming a famous actress and an icon for her generation, a 15-year-old Louise Brooks leaves Wichita to make it big in New York. Much to her annoyance, she is accompanied by a thirty-six-year-old chaperone who is neither mother nor friend. Cora Carlisle is a complicated but traditional woman with her own reasons for making the trip. She has no idea what she’s in for: Young Louise, already stunningly beautiful and sporting her famous blunt bangs and black bob, is known for her arrogance and her lack of respect for convention. Ultimately, the five weeks they spend together will change their lives forever.
For Cora, New York holds the promise of discovery that might prove an answer to the question at the center of her being, and even as she does her best to watch over Louise in a strange and bustling city, she embarks on her own mission. And while what she finds isn’t what she anticipated, it liberates her in a way she could not have imagined. Over the course of the summer, Cora’s eyes are opened to the promise of the 20th century and a new understanding of the possibilities for being fully alive.
©2012 Laura Moriarty (P)2012 Penguin Audio
Definitely! I didn't want the story to end. It was very unpredictable. I couldn't tell where the story was going, and I was surprised several times.
Dealt with social morays in time periods that where these things were not heard of, but it was never preachy.
She sounded like the voice that would have spoke in my own head. Good regional accents
This was a wonderful, complex historical novel that captivated me from the start. I felt it was narrated very well and an overall great experience. Highly recommend!
Cora and Joseph were my favorite characters. I loved getting to know Cora and getting to listen to her grow as a person throughout the whole story. Joseph was wonderful because of how openand accepting he was.
It took me about an hour to get used to the narrators voice, but then after that, I really loved listening to her. I also really loved how the different characters had different accents.
Louise is by far the most memorable character. She is so different than any of the other characters in the story. She is also a continuous theme throughout the whole story.
Wonderful read! I would highly reccomend this!
To start out, I want to say that the beginning of this book bored me enough to turn it off and download another book, doubting I'd ever come back to it. I did, however, come back to it.
I'll start with what I did not like about the book because I see so few negative reviews for this book.
I think what turned me off first of all was the narrator's voice (Elizabeth McGovern). It was so soft and that I had to turn my volume up more than I do for any other audiobook, but then there were parts that were way too loud so I had to position my earbuds and volume just right--that was very annoying. I work in a cubicle environment and generally have no problem with hearing my audiobooks over the chitchatter in the office, but I had trouble with getting the volume loud enough to hear it on this book without it bursting my ear drums. Eventually I found the sweet spot, or just got used to it, and I finished the book. Someone else described her voice as "precious" and it annoyed them I think. Without knowing anything about Cora and how this voice is perfect for her character, in the beginning, it's was very grating to me. So if you're in the same camp as I was, just tough it out because it gets better.
The beginning also feels very boring in general. Not very exciting, to me anyway. It wasn't until literally 1/3 or 1/2 way into the book that I actually began to care about the characters and where the story was going. Before that, I was simply toughing it out because someone said in a review that it gets more interesting later in the book. If you aren't the type of person who likes to wait this long for a story to pay off, this book may not be for you. For me, I listen to audiobooks at work and I hate to not finish an audiobook that I already paid for, so that is mostly why I finished this book. If I had borrowed it from a library, I probably would have quit listening, and then I would have missed out on how great this book is AFTER the first half.
I dislike how sometimes she would gloss over long time spans and was stingy with details that I thought would be interesting. It seems like this happened moreso in the later part of the book, especially the end. The end just seemed like a summing up of her life that was thrown in at the last minute. I'm not saying that it ended badly, because I like how it ended, but it felt rushed after the author took so long to describe so many other things earlier in the book.
So now that I've said all my negative opinions, I'll go on to the positives. I don't feel the need to go on and on about how much and what exactly I liked about this book, because there are already so many positive reviews that sum up how I feel. I really like the historical asides. They were awesome. I love Cora's journey of self-discovery. I love how the author explored morality.
Overall, I really enjoyed the book and I'm glad I finished it.
Listen nearly every day to an audiobook.
The title and first chapters are understated, as is the main character, Cora. Keep reading! We meet Cora as a naive young woman, living in Kansas in the early 20th century. She is bound by the painful constraints of her corset and expectations of propriety. Much of the story is set during an era with strictly enforced morality laws, against alcohol, birth control, cohabitation, and other perceived vices. We grow with Cora, as she explores issues of identity and develops wisdom.
Elizabeth McGovern brings authenticity to Cora's role. I grew up in the Midwest, with a grandmother of Cora's era. Often, I felt like I was listening to my grandmother's lessons on social propriety, and her reflections on social mores before 1960.
The reader is excellent and character are developed really well.I am recommending that it become on of our book club books next year
Her train journey as an orphan
No - I will if you give me a suggestion
No that is hard to do
I listened to it on a long drive to visit my family in Canada so it helped make the time go by faster.
Not sure. It would depend on the story.
I like Elizabeth McGovern as an actress but her reading was a little one dimensional. I'm used to listening to the fabulous Davina Porter who acts out all the voices when she reads a book so it's hard for anyone to beat her. However, Juliette Mills comes pretty close to it.
I didn't know until I listened to the book that Louise Brooks lived and died here in Rochester, NY. I found out where she's buried and plan to go visit her grave soon.
ya fiction freaks
Love the voice! She was Cora.
Historical wisdom throughout. Really felt like I got a glimpse into the era.
She really seemed to take on the character of Cora. I love her voice and the way she reads.
Cora. Felt like a friend or grandmother of my own.
Highly recomend if u enjoy life stories and historical fiction.
Yes to most mature women who would remember alot of that era.
This book had a very surprising turn around.
The characters were real well played out.
I am a technophile and librarian in the beautiful, green Pacific Northwest. I listen to audiobooks while I walk or run.
I found this story of an orphan's search for her roots -- and eventually, just for a family to belong to -- very enjoyable. There were some great surprises in the storyline that made it compelling to return to every day, because I did not know what might be coming next. For a novel based on historical personages, that's a pretty tall order, but the author manages it.
Louise Brooks came alive for me in this story, but so did the eponymous central character. And that was a surprise, especially given the chaperone's straight-laced and decidedly dull beginnings. (In fact, her decision to free herself from her metaphorical corset -- hope that's not too much of a spoiler! -- seemed a bit farfetched, if only because the author had done such a fantastic job of setting her up as a bit of a bluestocking.) Overall, I found the book to be great fun, full of heart in the best sense, and very touching.
At first, the flat "Kansan" tones of the protagonist and her charge annoyed me a little, partly because I wasn't sure they really sounded authentic (all the Kansan characters in the book sounded like they were from Minnesota to me). Funnily enough, by the end of the story I actually missed those voices, especially that of the chaperone herself.
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