In the mid-19th century, New York's population of homeless children approximated 30,000. The founder of the Children's Aid Society, Charles Loring Brace, suggested placing these children with families on farms - so began the Orphan Train Movement, a social experiment that lasted well into the 20th century and helped inspire modern foster care. Cora Carlisle (née Kaufmann), the protagonist in Laura Moriarty's novel, The Chaperone
, was one such orphan adopted by a Kansas couple. When readers first meet her, she is a mother and housewife who longs for information about her past and who is preoccupied with propriety even as the Jazz Age ushers in social change.
Enter Louise Brooks (see backstory): a sultry, intelligent, headstrong Wichita teenager whose local notoriety contrasts with thirty-six-year-old Cora and whose candor contributes to an emotional awakening...
Beyond the Book
Louise Brooks (1906-1985), born Mary Louise Brooks, was a dancer, Ziegfeld girl, silent film actress, memoirist (Lulu in Hollywood
), and in her later years, an icon rediscovered and beloved by French film historians such as Henri Langois, who remarked, "There is no Garbo! There is no Dietrich! There is only Louise Brooks!" She was best known for her roles in Pandora's Box
and Diary of a Lost Girl
, both 1929 German films directed by G.W. Pabst.
In Pandora's Box
, Brooks is cast as Lulu, a modern woman whose sexualized behavior turns destructive, and who eventually meets...