The Chaperone

A New York Times Bestseller

A USA Today Bestseller

Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award

A 2012 Washington Post Notable Book for Fiction

A 2012 BookPage Best Book for Fiction

A 2012 Kansas City Star Top 100 Book for Fiction

A BookPage Book of the Day, June 2012

Selected for the June 2012 Indie Next List

A New York Times bestseller, The Chaperone is a captivating novel about the woman who chaperoned an irreverent Louise Brooks to New York City in the 1920s and the summer that would change them both.
 
Only a few years before becoming a famous silent-film star and an icon of her generation, a fifteen-year-old Louise Brooks leaves Wichita, Kansas, to study with the prestigious Denishawn School of Dancing 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, a complicated but traditional woman with her own reasons for making the trip, has no idea what she’s in for. Young Louise, already stunningly beautiful and sporting her famous black bob with blunt bangs, is known for her arrogance and her lack of respect for convention. Ultimately, the five weeks they spend together will transform their lives forever.
 
For Cora, the city holds the promise of discovery that might answer the question at the core of her being, and even as she does her best to watch over Louise in this strange and bustling place she embarks on a mission of her own. And while what she finds isn’t what she anticipated, she is liberated in a way she could not have imagined. Over the course of Cora’s relationship with Louise, her eyes are opened to the promise of the twentieth century and a new understanding of the possibilities for being fully alive.
 
Drawing on the rich history of the 1920s, ’30s, and beyond—from the orphan trains to Prohibition, flappers,  and the onset of the Great Depression to the burgeoning movement for equal rights and new opportunities for women—Laura Moriarty’s The Chaperone illustrates how rapidly everything, from fashion and hemlines to values and attitudes, was changing at this time and what a vast difference it all made for Louise Brooks, Cora Carlisle, and others like them.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

“The Chaperone is the enthralling story of two women…and how their unlikely relationship changed their lives…In this layered and inventive story, Moriarty raises profound questions about family, sexuality, history, and whether it is luck or will—or a sturdy combination of the two—that makes for a wonderful life.”

O, The Oprah Magazine

“In her new novel, The Chaperone, Laura Morirty treats this golden age with an evocative look at the early life of silent-film icon Louise Brooks, who in 1922 leaves Wichita, Kansas, for New York City in the company of thirty-six-year-old chaperone, Cora Carlisle…A mesmerizing take on women in this pivotal era.”

Vogue

“Devour it.”

Marie Claire

“A fun romp.”

Good Housekeeping

Author Biography

Laura Moriarty is the author of The Center of Everything, The Rest of Her Life, and While I’m Falling. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas.

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