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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Mary
  • Tampa, FL, United States
  • 10-12-12

Jess's (NJ) comment about "the English lilt"

Would you consider the audio edition of The Chaperone to be better than the print version?

Not necessarily. I LOVE listening to all my Audible books on tapes, but Elizabeth Montgomery's "lilt" is not so much an English lilt (as Jess from NJ complained) as I think her pronunciations are typical of extensive elocution lessons. And I found her pronunciations annoying. PAIRents (with a sort or rolling r, as the Irish might pronounce it) -- KLEEN with a big emphasis on the "CL" sound -- and PLEEEEZED -- Tyewsday, instead of Tuesday ---- NYEWS, instead of news -- a NYEW dress -- does it SYEWT you, instead of "does it suit you" (said as we Americans say suit ---- countless examples. The way she says "turn" -- and "return" -- ewww. It's just quite annoying to listen to, really. But it's a really good story, and I adore Elizabeth McGovern in Downton Abbey. The elocution works well in Downton Abbey... But I'd like to hear someone else narrate this, honestly. How about Susan Sarandon -- how about Julianne Moore. Anyone really.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Chaperone?

I loved how wonderful the Kaufman's were to Cora. I liked how the janitor decided to help her. I'm still listening at this point.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

I described this above.

Who was the most memorable character of The Chaperone and why?

I think the chaperone.

Any additional comments?

A very good story.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lori
  • Saint Paul, MN, United States
  • 09-04-12

I really liked it!

If you could sum up The Chaperone in three words, what would they be?

Surprising, historical, interesting

Any additional comments?

It was different than most of the mystery or romance novels I read. Different character types, different story lines. I really liked it. Usually I can always guess what's going to happen, but not this time!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Leah
  • Oakland, CA, United States
  • 09-03-12

Surprisingly entertaining

I really enjoyed this book, especially the follow up with all the characters. There are plenty of interesting plot twists to keep you interested to know more and keep on reading/listening. I like historical fiction a lot, and I have already recommended this book to a few people.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kaye
  • Birmingham, Al
  • 09-03-12

Wonderful!

I loved everything about this book. Well written with brilliant characters and a fabulous story. Elizabeth McGovern was a brilliant reader and gave a very clear picture of each character. This is a story that grabs you from the very first and doesn't let go until the very last word.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Marj
  • Hudson, OH, United States
  • 09-02-12

Most Enjoyable

Excellent performance by Elizabeth McGovern! I truly enjoyed the character of Cora and the depth of her character as the storyline unfolded. Although taking place in the 20's, the issues were very poignant for today. A truly engaging and wonderful experience.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Unexpected and Entertaining

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

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.

What did you like best about this story?

Dealt with social morays in time periods that where these things were not heard of, but it was never preachy.

What does Elizabeth McGovern bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She sounded like the voice that would have spoke in my own head. Good regional accents

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • heather
  • Capitola, CA, United States
  • 08-31-12

Excellent all around

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!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lindsay
  • Denver, CO, United States
  • 08-30-12

What a great listen!

Who was your favorite character and why?

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.

What about Elizabeth McGovern’s performance did you like?

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.

Who was the most memorable character of The Chaperone and why?

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.

Any additional comments?

Wonderful read! I would highly reccomend this!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Beginning Awfully Boring--Finishing it SO WORTH it

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.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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spectacular novel

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.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful