Tuesday, August 21, 2012
The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty
Author: Laura Moriarty
Read by: Elizabeth McGovern
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Length: Approximately 13 hours (11 CDs)
Source: Penguin Audio Review Copy
The Chaperone is a fascinating historical fiction novel that was an enjoyable listening experience during my journey to and from work each day. In The Chaperone, Cora Carlisle decides to do something radical for the Wichita Kansas housewife. She decides to spend the summer as a chaperone for fifteen year old Louise Brooks as she attends a dance school and hopes for the big time in New York City. Louise is not pleased with having a chaperone, but Cora has ulterior motives of her own. Cora has a secret she has kept secret her entire adult life, she was an orphan on one of the infamous orphan trains to the west from New York City thirty years earlier. Cora is determined to use her free time while Louise is at dance to track down more information about her parents and her past.
Read by Elizabeth McGovern (Cora, Countess of Grantham in Downtown Abbey), I couldn’t help but envision Cora as played by McGovern in a movie version. I loved listening to this book on my long drive to and from work and was very engrossed in Cora’s story. The only point I didn’t like was that sometimes McGovern had a very thick “Kansas” accent that I didn’t really identify with anyone I’ve met from Kansas before (and I’ve visited the state).
This audiobook is a wonderful story with a riveting narrator. Don’t enter the book looking for a story centered on Louise Brooks, but to a story of a woman who survived the orphan train growing up and finding herself on her trip to New York City.