The Chaperone was this month’s selection for my book club, and the only explanation I really have of why I liked it is because it was a “nice story.” In The Chaperone, Cora Carlisle, a Prohibition-era Kansas mother of two, agrees to chaperone Louise Brooks on her summer of intensive dance instruction in New York City. (If you, like me, had no idea who Louise Brooks was, she was an immensely famous film and dance star in the 1930s.)
During her duties as chaperone, Cora also takes the opportunity to explore her complicated past. This job was perfect for her, as she has mysterious roots in New York City, and she spends the summer working to unravel that mystery.
The book is character driven. It’s easy to relate to Cora’s struggles to control, or atleast mitigate the damages in the wake of, bratty and spoiled Louise. Cora is so close and relatable. The book brings a few surprises, but Cora is a positive figure throughout and it is easy to become closely endeared to her. Although Louise is a key character in the book, Cora quickly becomes the reader’s primary interest.
Cora is a good character, through and through. Living in such our current bleak, depressing world, it’s nice to read a novel in which a good character stays good. This book isn’t heavy or twists or turns, but it’s very relatable and easygoing.