Book Review Club: The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty #review

Last month my readers group read books that have been made into films, and then we watched the movies. One of my choices was:

Chaperone coverThe Chaperone
by Laura Moriarty
Historical Women’s FictionSet in the early 1920s, the book tells the story of a journey to New York City of Louise Brooks, who became a famous silent movie actress, and her chaperone Cora Kaufman Carlisle. Louise Brooks was a real person, and you can read about her life here:But the story is mainly about Cora, whom I assume is a fictional character. She chooses to accompany the free-spirited Louise to NYC because that’s where she was born. Cora was taken as a three-year-old to an orphanage run by nuns, and she was later sent west on one of the orphan trains where she was adopted by a couple named Kaufman. The flash backs to her past story are quite interesting. Once in NY she tries to learn who her birth parents are.That’s all I will say. Cora’s story is far more compelling and complicated than I anticipated from a teetotalling middle-aged Kansas housewife. I enjoyed most of the book, but found the ending dragged out too long.

movie posterThe book was made into a movie of the same name by the creators of Downton Abbey. I watched it on PBS.

Elizabeth McGovern plays Cora, whose name was inexplicably changed to Norma for the film. Haley Lou Richardson played Louise Brooks.

I liked the movie. McGovern does a good acting job, despite the fact that she’s about 20 years older than the character she plays. The movie captures the heart of the story, and mercifully, ends sooner. I thought the script was pretty good.

I recommend both for fans of historical fiction, although I wouldn’t fault anyone for not quite finishing the book.

Linda

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6 thoughts on “Book Review Club: The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty #review

  1. What a fun book club you’re in! I like the idea of reading a book that was made into a movie and then watching the movie. That would make for an interesting discussion. Thank you for reviewing and stay safe.

  2. Great book club idea! I suppose they changed her name from Cora in the movie because that was the same actress who played Cora on Downton Abbey, the one playing “Norma.” Right?

    That was such an interesting era, when women lived under so many constraints, such as needing chaperones. Sounds like a good story.

    • Thanks for pointing that out, Phyllis. Of course that’s why they changed her name. Duh!

      Yes, the restrictions on women in the past were just awful, though Louise certainly needed a chaperone! Cora’s corset was a big restriction though.

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