Wednesday, June 20, 2012

THE CHAPERONE by Laura Moriarty

Actress Elizabeth McGovern reads THE CHAPERONE by Laura Moriarty, about a fifteen year old girl (destined to become a silent film star) who is accompanied by a prim and proper older woman of thirty-six to New York in 1922. While Louise Brooks is rather bratty, her effect on Cora Carlisle, her chaperone, is ultimately liberating. The historical novel unfolds during a time of Prohibition, the Great Depression, and sweeping changes in fashion and attitudes. McGovern doesn't attempt to over-dramatize the novel, preferring subtle deviations in tone and accent to delineate the characters. This makes the exposition more believable and interesting than the typical chick-lit offering, with its exaggerated emotions. As such, it will appeal to women of all ages as not just a coming-of-age novel (Louise) but coming-to-life (Cora.)

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