Wednesday, October 03, 2012

The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty


Although I received an advance readers copy if this book months ago, I jus got around to reading The Chaperone and I wish I wouldn't have waited. A work of historical fiction, this novel focuses on the Roaring Twenties, the early age of Hollywood, Prohibition, Women's Rights, unwed motherhood, birth control and even homosexuality. The title character is charged with chaperoning teen-aged Louise Brooks (1906-1985) as she travels to New York City to study dance. I knew nothing of Louise Brooks's career in film but have since done some reading and learned about her rise - and fall - as well as the scandals and her writing about it all in Lulu in Hollywood. Still, the central character is the chaperone, Cora Carlisle, whose own personality is transformed by her venture beyond her farm life in Kansas. The fact that she is reading Wharton's The Age of Innocence on the train to New York appropriately foreshadows her own enlightenment.


No comments: