From the Chrysalis


Fiction - Drama
332 Pages
Reviewed on 05/07/2012
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Karen Black lives in Toronto,Ontario with her family. "From the Chrysalis" begged for a sequel, so she is currently writing about Dace Devereux's escape from a corrupt penitentiary system and his dual mission to clear his name and find out where the monarch butterflies really made their winter home.

Her work as a reference librarian is what actually paid for her children's artsy educations, the renovations and repairs to her 100 year old house and the travels she and her husband indulge in every year ot two. They just got back from Turkey, a mecca for anybody interested in ancient history.

She did her Master's in Library Science at the University of Toronto (because she loved books), but she majored in Sociology (with a minor in English) at a university in a small city like Maitland. Though her husband brags they met in a bar,they really did meet while working in the campus pub at Western. She was a waitress and he was a doorman. They have five beautiful and extraordinary children. Karen has often found it necessary to add that they all have the same father. She has always written and done family research, which is how she found out that most of us are the descendants of cousin marriages. Much to her children's relief, she is not in the slightest related to their father, probably because Scots-Anglo-Irish gentry and peasants rarely mixed in the old days.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite

Our story begins in a butterfly garden with two cousins flirting with each other. Dace is a handsome young man prone to trouble. For much younger Liz he is temptation. He enticed her to swim in the pond. If Uncle Norm had not come along at just at the right moment they would have gone too far. He promised her he would write but he never did. Liz continued to think about Dace. She searched through the microfilm of Maitland’s newspaper hoping to find something about him. Dace had been convicted of manslaughter and was serving the next seven years in prison. Her father burned with a continuous rage at Liz. Her mother decided it would be in her best interest if she went to live with her maternal Irish grandmother in Dublin. That was when she began receiving letters from Dace. Of course she wrote him back and each letter Dace received from Liz gave him hope. He was ecstatic when she told him she was returning to Maitland. When riots broke out in the prison Liz rushed there hoping in some way she could protect or rescue Dace.

"From The Chrysalis" is both drama and thriller. The plot is character driven. The protagonist is Dace. He is about 17 when the book begins and the reader knows from the start that he is drawn to trouble. He sort of reminded me of James Dean, handsome, tempting and sure to cause suffering. Liz is merely 13 when we first meet her. She is drawn to Dace like a moth is drawn to flame. We all know she is going to be burned. The two play well together and yet we know they are not good for each other. The story is one that will keep the readers eagerly turning pages. I am not usually drawn to books that contain prison scenes but I had to read every word. The author, Karen Black, has provided a very descriptive account of the prison. Black is a very talented author. She brings the scenes in her book to life and they march off the pages. I look forward to more books by Black.