September 29, 2023

Novel Lives

Book Publicity, Reviews, Author Interviews, and Discussion Posts by Susan Crosby

The Chaperone By M Hendrix Is The Cliffnotes Version Of Handmaid’s Tale

The Chaperone By M Hendrix- Summary

Goodreads summary of The Chaperone by M Hendrix (Review Below): 

Deflect attention.
Abstain from sin.
Navigate the world with care.
Give obedience.
Embrace purity.
Respect your chaperone.

Stella can’t go out by herself or spend time with boys except at Visitations. Girls in New America must have chaperones at all times until they marry, so Stella’s lucky that Sister Helen is like a friend to her. When Sister Helen dies suddenly, she’s devastated, especially when the Constables assign Stella a new chaperone just days later.

Sister Laura is… different. She leaves Stella alone at the library (isn’t that illegal?) and knows how to get into the “Hush Hush” parties where all kinds of forbidden things happen. As Stella spends more time with Sister Laura, she begins to question everything she’s been taught. What if the Constables’ rules don’t actually protect girls? What if they were never meant to keep them safe?

Once Stella glimpses both real freedom and the dark truths behind New America, she has no choice but to fight back against the world she knows. She sets out on a dangerous journey across what was once the United States, risking everything.

The Chaperone By M Hendrix- Review

This is going to be short and to the point because there isn’t a whole lot to say about The Chaperone. What was a terrific premise (even if not unique) quickly settled for being the cliff/spark notes version of The Handmaid’s Tale. Yes. I know M Hendrix is writing a young adult book, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be complex and have substance. Truthfully, I would say that reading or watching The Handmaid’s Tale is a prerequisite for reading The Chaperone. If you don’t, you won’t have the background knowledge to receive the background necessary for the Chaperone.

The Chaperone doesn’t provide much if any, historical connections or background as to the whys of the book. What is the history of New America’s break from Old America? How did it happen? What is the philosophy (other than the ever-repeated suppression of minority groups and control of women) of New America’s government? M Hendrix writes about characters going to church every week but never explains what the religious foundation is for New America.

ReviewThank you to RecordedBooks Media and Netgalley for

There isn’t any soul to The Chaperone, no depth or backing. The only explanation about New America is the role of The Chaperone and the surface existence of women. And even that is barely explored. There are hints of more made, but more never came. Moreover, the writing is very simple and repetitive. Lastly, the big trip across New America to freedom is lackluster and leads to an ending that, while I can buy, just wasn’t enough to save The Chaperone.

The Chaperone By M Hendrix- Final Thoughts And Audiobook

The one clever part of The Chaperone (although, again, not unique) is how Stella is trained without knowing she is being trained for her escape. Think Karate Kid wax on/wax off type deal.

Lastly, the audiobook was well-produced, and the narrator did a fine job. None of the faults with The Chaperone lay with the audiobook.

Maybe I loved the Girls with Sharp Sticks series much. Maybe nothing will ever live up to it. But that doesn’t account for all the fault that lays directly with The Chaperone’s story- which there just wasn’t much of.

Oh. One other thing. And this really lies with me, not the book, but because the main character’s name was Stella. The whole book, I kept thinking…

The Chaperone


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