Top positive review
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Wonderful Book! What a Great Character!
on April 25, 2012
I was originally attracted to this book by the connection with Louise Brooks, a fascinating and tragic silent screen star. But, as the title suggests, the main character is "the chaperone," Cora. I was totally charmed by Cora, and I have to say she has joined the list of my favorite fictional characters.
Cora seems to have a perfect, but perfectly ordinary, life as the book opens. She lives in Wichita. She's in her mid-30's, married to a handsome, kind and successful lawyer, with two sons. She's no shrinking violet: She was an early "lady driver" and a suffragette, but she is also very traditional, with her high collars and constricting corsets and a strong sense of duty. So it's a bit of a surprise when she offers to chaperone a virtual stranger, the wild and rebellious fifteen-year-old Louise Brooks, to her dance classes in New York.
Cora, we learn, has her own reasons for going to New York. I'm not going to say anything else because I don't want to give away anything that readers should discover on their own. Suffice it to say that Cora's story went in different directions, far from what I had originally expected - - you know, the stuffy middle-aged woman goes wild and learns to enjoy life thanks to the wise teenager. No. It's much better and more unexpected and very enjoyable, primarily thanks to the character of Cora. I just adored her.