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The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty

An enjoyable historical piece. I picked out this book because it is set in an era that I don’t read much of, I am fascinated by Louise Brooks, and it got good reviews.

This read went by much quicker than I thought. I think because I became quickly absorbed into the story of Cora. The book isn’t about Louise Brooks; she’s just a sideline character and an anchor in a way. The novel was interesting in a few ways. First, Laura had layered Cora’s life in such a neat and well written way. She kept building onto slowly and there were a couple of good surprises; however, she does them without being gratuitous or shocking.

Louise was annoying through all of this novel. She isn’t an overly developed character in this novel, but she isn’t one dimensional either. The writer makes it that Cora observes Louise and herself in those heady days and weeks they spend together in New York.

I adored the period setting. Moriarty seemed to really capture that time not only in the details of clothing, the current events, but in the mentality of people. At least, as much as you can writing a book 90 years from the time. As a modern reader, one may not really understand Cora’s views about prohibition or clothing, but you can at least understand it being a product of her time. Still, Cora was very forward thinking compared to many of her contemporaries and that is what makes this novel work its pathos and attachment. I found the character real through her sadness, shock, disappointments, happiness, and goals.

As both a character novel and one about the early twentieth century, I liked this novel.

Read July 29th 2012.

2 thoughts on “The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty

  1. Good review. I just finished this too, and liked it. It snuck up on me and I became absorbed with Cora’s long life and the history surrounding it. Two thumbs up!

    1. Hi Susan! I became absorbed in her life as well and I thought Moriarty did a good job of weaving the various threads of it. One doesn’t often read a lot of novels which covers the whole of one character’s life as much as this one. It wasn’t boring and two thumbs up from me too. Have a good one. 🙂

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