Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty Review and Blog Tour

The Chaperone
by Laura Moriarty
Riverhead Books (Penguin)
ISBN: 978-1-59448-701-9
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Buy From Indigo

Description: A captivating novel about the woman who chaperoned an irreverent Louise Brooks to New York City in 1922, and the summer that would change them both. Only a few years before becoming a famous actress and an icon for her generation, a fifteen-year-old Louise Brooks leaves Wichita to make it big 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 is a complicated but traditional woman with her own reasons for making the trip. She has no idea what she's in for: Young Louise, already stunningly beautiful and sporting her famous blunt bangs and black bob, is known for her arrogance and her lack of respect for convention. 

Ultimately, the five weeks they spend together will change their lives forever. For Cora, New York holds the promise of discovery that might prove an answer to the question at the center of her being, and even as she does her best to watch over Louise in a strange and bustling city, she embarks on her own mission. And while what she finds isn't what she anticipated, it liberates her in a way she could not have imagined. Over the course of the summer, Cora's eyes are opened to the promise of the twentieth century and a new understanding of the possibilities for being fully alive

The Good Stuff
  • Thoroughly researched and every aspect of story true to the time period
  • Moriarty fabulous at setting mood and landscape of the story
  • Excellent character development for Cora (Don't want to put spoilers in so I will leave it at that)
  • Background of Cora slowly emerges like little mysteries being solved, which keeps you interested
  • Really gives you a glimpse into the lives of women during the late 1800's to mid 70's and all that we have overcome 
  • Also you get a real feel for the American Midwest during the 1920's
  • Nice commentary on change, acceptance and forgiveness 
  • Will make you want to pick up a copy of Lulu in Hollywood (Louise Brooks memoir)
  • Loved that it focused, not on the famous Louise Brooks, but a simple conventional mid-western women who ends up living a very unconventional life
  • A lovely book to lose yourself in on a cold winters night - or in my case two extremely bumpy plane rides (helped get me through it by the way -- the power of a good book my friends)
  • Takes history and makes it personal and something you can connect with
  • Really got a kick out of some of the dialogue that came out of Viola's mouth & felt extremely lucky to have grown up in the era I did
  • Learned some fascinating information - floored by how the Ku Klux Klan tried to get women to join in Kansas

The Not So Good Stuff
  • Story starts very slow, but keep reading it gets going a quarter way through and you become hooked
  • Last years of the story goes by so very quickly and feels rushed
  • Hard to read at times due to the plight of women and all they had to fight against in terms of access to birth control and the condemnation of unwed or poor mothers
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"Foolish. This bobbing business is just a craze. When its over, everyone who followed the lemmings over the cliff will need years to grow their hair out."

"But Cora felt a girl needed a stronger warning - if only because the world was unfair. There are some inequities that wouldn't change. Maybe they couldn't. In any case, it was simply the way things were."
She glanced over her shoulder before leaning in. "Louise, I'll put it to you plainly.  Men don't want candy that's been unwrapped. Maybe for a lark, but not when it comes to marriage. It may still be perfectly clean, but if it's unwrapped, they don't know where its been."

"That's what spending the time with the young can do - its the big payoff for all the pain. The young can exasperate, of course, and frighten, and condescend, and insult, and cut you with their still unrounded edges. But they can also drag you, as you protest and scold and try to pull away, right up to the window of the future, and even push you through."

 Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • Definitely for those who have a interest in Louise Brooks
  • Fans of historical fiction - especially in 1920's America
  • Not for those looking for non stop action and sex
  • Good for those interested in a discussion of women's rights and feminism

 4 Dewey's

Received this from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review

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Laura's Website

Blog Tour Stops

Tuesday, May 1st: Sophisticated Dorkiness
Wednesday, May 2nd: bookchickdi
Thursday, May 3rd: From Left to Write

Monday, May 7th: Frenzy of Noise
Tuesday, May 8th: Indie Reader Houston
Wednesday, May 9th: Verb Vixen
Thursday, May 10th: Bewitched Bookworms
Friday, May 11th: The Well-Read Wife
Monday, May 14th: Fire and Ice
Tuesday, May 15th: Book Journey
Wednesday, May 16th: Babbling About Books and More
Thursday, May 17th: Workaday Reads
Friday, May 18th: An Avid Readers Musings
Saturday, May 19th: Midnight Book Girl
Monday, May 21st: Never Too Fond of Books
Tuesday, May 22nd: The Compulsive Reader
Wednesday, May 23rd: Kritters Ramblings
Thursday, May 24th: Literate Housewife
Friday, May 25th: Paperspines
Monday, May 28th: Sassymonkey Reads
Tuesday, May 29th: Picky Girl
Wednesday, May 30th: Chaos is a Friend of Mine
Thursday, May 31st: An Unconventional Librarian
Friday, June 1st: The 3 Rs: Reading, Riting, and Randomness


  1. Im glad to see that your list of Likes far outweighs your list of dislikes!

    Thanks for being on the tour. :)

    1. : ) Thanks for having me and it was a fascinating story

  2. Nice review :) I was looking for a review of this book and stumbled upon your blog. I have been wondering if the book is for me