Sunday, July 29, 2012

Highlight: The Chaperone: A Novel by Laura Moriarty


Only a few years before becoming a famous silent-film star and an icon of her generation, a fifteen-year-old Louise Brooks leaves Wichita, Kansas, to study with the prestigious Denishawn School of Dancing 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, a complicated but traditional woman with her own reasons for making the trip, has no idea what she’s in for. Young Louise, already stunningly beautiful and sporting her famous black bob with blunt bangs, is known for her arrogance and her lack of respect for convention. Ultimately, the five weeks they spend together will transform their lives forever.

For Cora, the city holds the promise of discovery that might answer the question at the core of her being, and even as she does her best to watch over Louise in this strange and bustling place she embarks on a mission of her own. And while what she finds isn’t what she anticipated, she is liberated in a way she could not have imagined. Over the course of Cora’s relationship with Louise, her eyes are opened to the promise of the twentieth century and a new understanding of the possibilities for being fully alive.

Drawing on the rich history of the 1920s,’30s, and beyond--from the orphan trains to Prohibition, flappers, and the onset of the Great Depression to the burgeoning movement for equal rights and new opportunities for women--Laura Moriarty’s The Chaperone illustrates how rapidly everything, from fashion and hemlines to values and attitudes, was changing at this time and what a vast difference it all made for Louise Brooks, Cora Carlisle, and others like them.








"There is no Garbo! There is no Dietrich! There is only Louise Brooks!" - Henri Langlois, 1955


8 comments:

  1. That... actually sounds interesting. [bemused smile] I'm seriously not into that era, like, at all, but I think I'm going to get this book anyway.

    My TBR pile is cursing you right now. ;D

    Angie

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    1. Angie, it does sound interesting, right? I bought it before I left on vacation because it sounded SO good! I hope you enjoy it, but I'll let you know how it is once I read it. :)

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  2. Sounds really cool!
    The era sounds good and I love how it sounds in general.

    Also, is this one of the Moriarty sisters? you know, the australian ones?

    Just wondering.

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    1. I love reading about this era! There were so many things going on.

      Re: Laura Moriarty. The answer to your question is no. This author was born in the U.S. (Honolulu, Hawaii) and lives in Kansas at the moment. :D

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  3. That first photo you posted - I recognize that :) The book sounds good :)

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    1. Hey Orannia:

      That photo of Brooks is gorgeous. I like all of the pictures, but I think my favorite one is where she looks all natural... the third one on the right.

      The book I think is about Cora with Brooks providing the historical role in the book, but this is such a great era and I've heard about Brooks before, so I couldn't help but buy it. I will let you know how it turns out. :)

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  4. So how much did you enjoy it, Hils?

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    1. He he he... I finished it. Enjoyed it, but I'll let you know more in my review. *g*

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