It's 1922 and Cora Carlisle is at loose ends. Her husband is busy with his law practice and her twin sons will soon be off to college. When an opportunity arises to spend a summer in New York City chaperoning a young girl who's attending a famous dance school, she signs on for the job. Thus begins the parallel life journeys of a Kansas matron and Louise Brooks, soon-to-be famous movie star during the silent film era. This novel also interweaves nearly a century's worth of social change with the lives the author explores. This novel offers a lot of discussion for a book club.
Superb book, superb writing. Likely more appealing to women.
This book was quite different than what I was expecting from the description but it was a pleasant surprise. Maybe a bit longer than it needs to be but basically a pretty interesting story. Narrated by Elizabeth McGovern from Downton Abbey and she does a good job.
There was a lot I liked about this book, but it had some challenges for me that knocked it down to three stars. First, I had a hard time aligning the lifestyle Cora was living at the end of the book with the prim, rigid woman she was at the beginning. Is it possible that a sure-of-herself 15-year-old Louise Brooks could have had that profound an effect on a 36-year-old woman? I doubted it.
The author took on a LOT of issues in the book, which ultimately became distracting. Instead, I wish Louise Brooks had been more central to the story, rather than a peripheral player, because the relationship between Cora and Louise -- two very different women -- was what interested me most.
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