Cora Carlisle, a middle-aged housewife in the 1920s, seems to have all she could ever want: a handsome husband, two sons in college, and a beautiful house. Yet, Cora is thoroughly tired with her life. An opportunity falls into her lap to escort the beautiful 15-year old Louise Brooks, the future silent film star, to New York City to study modern dance for the summer. Although she claims to only want to do a good deed for a neighbor, Cora has deeper reasons to venture to the Big Apple.
Through her journey with the wild and daring Louise, Cora explores not only her past, but also her views on the present. A younger Cora had fought for and won the right to vote, despite the harsh criticism of naysayer older ladies. Now, as she watches the brazen new generation trample on the ideals she has held her entire life, Cora has to decide whether she will embrace the new, or be like the naysayers from her past. One summer's revelations changes both Cora and Louise's lives, for better or for worse.
With engaging characters and a twisting plot, "The Chaperone" is entertaining enough to be a beach read, yet with a thoughtful, introspective edge.
Recommended by Johanna Wilkening