Friday, September 14, 2012

The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty

When respectable wife and mother Cora Carlisle agrees to go to New York as chaperone to 15-year-old Louise Brooks in the summer of 1922, Louise is not yet the famous silent film actress she is destined to become. Impetuous, stubborn, combative, arrogant, and an unapologetic flirt, Louise is still just an enormously talented young dancer auditioning to join the Denishawn dancers.  Cora more than has her hands full keeping Louise in line.  But chaperoning an impossible, clever teenager is not the only reason Cora has come to New York.  Leaving her handsome, much older lawyer husband and twin sons at home in Wichita, Kansas, Cora is desperate to unlock the secrets of her past.  Raised in the New York Home for Friendless Girls, Cora was put on an orphan train at the age of six and taken in by a Kansas farm family.  With only a brief memory of a dark-haired woman with a shawl, Cora has no idea who her parents were, how she ended up in an orphanage, or even if she may still have living relatives.  The answers, she is sure, lie in New York - which is why she must keep headstrong Louise in check long enough to find the answers she seeks.  The clashing mores, bright lights, busy streets, dance halls and rising hemlines of 1920s New York come alive in The Chaperone, an engrossing read that fans of Boardwalk Empire and the Oscar-winning film The Artist will love to curl up with this fall!