Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Book Review: The Chaperone

A couple months ago, my dear friend Veronique (over at French Girl in Seattle) recommended a book that sounded absolutely delightful.

The book is called The Chaperone and it's currently a best-seller.

When I looked up the book, I discovered the author, Laura Moriarty, lives an hour away from me, which I thought was pretty cool.

When I finally got my hands on a copy, I couldn't put it down.

The novel draws you in from the very first chapter. It is beautifully written, with rich, complex characters and a fascinating historical perspective of the midwest.

I'm a bookworm, and seriously, this is the first novel in a very long time that has captivated me so completely.

The Chaperone revolves around Cora Carlisle, a Kansas housewife, who accompanies a spoiled, gorgeous, and talented 15-year-old Louise Brooks to New York City for a dance workshop in 1922.

**For those of you who do not know, Louise Brooks is one of the most famous Hollywood icons from the silent film era. She was the ultimate flapper and pretty much defined what the glitzy, wild 1920s were all about. She is also one of the first American film stars to actually be as wild off-screen as she was on-screen, which rocked the tabloids. She was basically the first Lindsay Lohan, except more famous and fabulous.**

But, when the book starts out, Louise is not famous yet. She's just a obnoxious teenager who has no regard for authority.

The heart of the book focuses on Cora's mysterious past and her path to self-discovery. It's a heart-warming glimpse at a tug-of-war relationship between women, whether its a chaperone and a silly girl, or a daughter facing her demons.

It is also a novel about growth, good or bad. It's the story of America.

Reading The Chaperone quickly made Laura Moriarty my new favorite author. I can't wait to get my hands on her other novels.

Last week, I had the opportunity to meet her at a book signing.

Laura gave a talk about the novel, where she revealed that several of Louise Brooks' surviving relatives in Wichita have approached her to compliment her on nailing their famous aunt's self-destructive personality.

At the end of the talk, I approached Laura to have my book signed. It turns out, she recognized me. (I'm a newspaper reporter). I almost died.

I really, really, really hope you guys go out and buy this book. It is brilliantly written and such a worthwhile read.


Andrés Corella said...

I have to put this on my Jennifer´s book looks amazing...I hope I´m able to get it.

The Black Label

Alex said...

Putting that book in my queue. Sounds amazing!

French Girl in Seattle said...

So glad you liked the book. It's really cool that you got to meet Laura Moriarty and even cooler that she recognized you! I did get the Louise Brooks essays after reading the Chaperone but have not read "Lulu in Hollywood" yet. Currently reading the new JK Rowling book. Will keep you posted. Oh, and merci beaucoup for mentioning Moi and le blog! :-) Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

You are famous! That is so cool that you met the author. I will definitely check out this book and hope it's on the Kindle!

Chic 'n Cheap Living

Audrey Allure said...

Sounds interesting and so cool that you got to meet the author!

The Grande Dame said...

*sings* awwwwesommmme! I think I am going to buy this book online right now. Sounds like my dream book.
Thank you so much for that wonderful compliment on my blog, I was not expecting such a warm welcome back :)

Josie said...

I've been DYING to read this! It sounds so good.
xo Josie

Kc said...

I saw this book the other day, now I'm gonna have to go back and buy it! :) thanks for the review!


The Dainty Dolls House said...

Fabulous, I shall check out this book, it sounds great. I love books, and have been looking for something new to read :) And of course you know I love Louise Brooks ;) This was fantastic :) x

Sherin said...

I am the HUGEST bookworm, so I'm always up for reading new books. I can't wait to read this one. It sounds great.

And that's awesome that the author knew who you were!!

Couture Carrie said...

Awesome review and pics, darling!
How cool that you got recognized!


Bravoe Runway said...

I am definitely going to have to add this to my must read list. I do remember this actress from studying the prohibition in the 20s...wonder how scandalous she was if she was the LILO of almost a century ago...

Kim (A Very Sweet Blog) said...

That is so awesome that you met her Jen! AND she recognized you! So awesome! That book does sound captivating. Thanks for telling us about it. A very interesting read girl. Have a great week!

Shybiker said...

Wow, how exciting to meet the author! I'm certainly going to buy this book on your recommendation. Thanks.

Oh to Be a Muse said...

Yes, I read on FB that she recognized you--that's pretty fab.

Thanks for giving me a synopsis of this book--sounds quite interesting.

Mouthwash said...

I always love learning about new authors from you! This woman sounds fantasic - adding it to my Goodreads list!


I just read your comment on Azu's blog. Did you know that she and I are in the same town? Pretty cool, huh?
It's awesome to live in CA. You should try it ;)

Also...Monsanto is a terribly evil company. Have you ever read up on them??? You will be FLOORED with the murder that company gets away with.

Wil Harris said...

I'm a book worm too and am about to go on amazon and download this to my Kindle! You wrote a great review and thanks for sharing. :)

Meri said...

I've been on the list for requesting this from the library for like 4 months now, I can't stand it haha! good to know it is worth the wait!

Mimi said...

oh wow, that's so awesome! and this book sounds interesting, i'll definitely check it out. :)

<3, Mimi
LensVillage Giveaway

A Brit Greek said...

Check you out for being famous!! Whoop Whoop!
Sounds like an interesting read, might have to check out and add to Amazon list now!

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Mariz Denver said...

Very well written and intriguing novel. I really enjoyed it. Amazing look back into many issues still relevant today. I've read other books about the orphan trains, but this one put some additional twists to the historical reality. Louise is a real character, how much if any is the rest of it true?

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