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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.