black_queen (black_queen) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

#22 & 23 Laura Moriarty & Antonia Fraser

Laura Moriarty: The Chaperone 5/5

I picked this book by chance, and was very pleasantly surprised. It is a story of a woman who went with a 15-year old Louise Brooks to New York as a chaperone. Turns out, she is completely unable to deal with her wilful charge, but the book is not about Louise Brooks, who went on to become a Hollywood star for a rather short period of time. It is much more about her chaperone, Cora, who actually goes to New York to search for her past. Instead, she actually finds new understanding and a new - happy - life.

I've really liked it. I felt like we have some things in common with the chaperone Cora and I could understand her frustration with Louise but also with herself and her desire to belong somewhere. I also found Louise a very interesting character and am thinking of reading her autobiography at some point in the future. I love old movies, although not so much the silent ones (Sheiks being an exception, LOL), but have never seen any with Louise. It is nice when a book becomes a kind of a beginning.

In short, very much recommended.

Antonia Fraser: Gunpowder Treason and Plot: Terror and Faith in 1605 4/5

As always, Antonia Fraser manages to bring long dead historical personae to life. Some of the plotters I could feel for. For example, 24 years old Digby, a rich popular courtier, in love with his young wife and apparently not quite aware what he has got himself into. Some were fanatical beyond my understanding.

The idea to kill the Royal Family together with the Parlement full of people remains horrifying even in our troubled times. Interestingly, the book with all its discussions of the terrorism was written before 2001. I wonder what would it look like if it was finished more recently.
Tags: fiction, history, period fiction (20th century)

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