The Chaperone follows Cora, a house-wife from small-town Kansas, who is assigned to accompany an ambitious teenage girl called Louise Brooks to the bright lights of 1920's New York City for the summer.
Little does Cora know that by the end of the decade Louise will become a silent film star and one of the most iconic faces of the 1920s, with her striking black bob haircut.
Cora's perfect life back in Kansas, with a handsome husband and two teenage boys, isn't all it seems and her journey to New York uncovers long kept secrets that will change her life forever.
While the gorgeous cover of this book suggests the glitz and glamour of the 1920s, the book focuses on the clash between generations as Cora finds her conservative Christian values challenged by teenage Louise's ferocious desire to embrace all things "modern" with her severe hairstyle, her short skirts and love of jazz.
As Cora discovers the truth about her past, she finds Louise's more liberal values rubbing off on her and she eventually returns to Kansas with a new perspective on life.
While The Chaperone is enjoyable, it was a struggle to find the heroine Cora a compelling character. Her journey from small minded housewife to philanthropist and woman's rights campaigner is admirable.
It's just unfortunate that compared to the brief but intriguing glimpses into Louise Brook's passionate, cynical and damaged character, Cora can't help coming across as a little bland.
I was left wanting to find out more about Louise's life and couldn't help but wonder if a story about the girl portrayed on the cover would have made for a far more interesting read.
The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty