The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty
(Riverhead Hardcover, 2012, 384 pages)
Cora Carlisle is a respectable married woman living in Wichita, Kansas. When she hears that the Brooks family is looking for a chaperone to take their eldest daughter, Louise, to New York City where she’ll audition for a dance company Cora jumps at the chance. She has her own reasons for wanting to go to New York, ones only her husband is privy to. Louise Brooks (yep, the silent film star to-be) is 15 years old and is quite… “adult” in both her actions and outlook. She resents Cora’s efforts to keep her in line and makes it clear that she has very little respect for the chaperone she doesn’t feel she needs. While Louise focuses on reinventing herself in New York, Cora goes off into the city looking for answers. Both she and Louise will be changed by their experiences on the east coast.
The audiobook was read by Elizabeth McGovern (she plays Cora Crawley for all you Downton Abbey fans) and I enjoyed her narration overall. I wasn’t a fan of her attempt at a Wichita drawl when she read Cora’s lines, but she did a good job differentiating characters. The book definitely kept my interest because I wasn’t sure where Moriarty was going to take the story.
You can also check out Theresa’s review of the book.