Chrysalis

by Anna Metcalfe

I loved this book! It is a story about transformation, deciding to design your own life after trauma, and the reinvention of self, in a way. A common theme but written in a very unique format. I loved how it was organized, and I loved the fact that the only information we get about our main character (who remains nameless….unless I missed it) is from other people. So, how biased is this information? We have to form our own opinions about her using only the judgements and opinions of others. The three sources of our information are Elliot, an introverted, socially isolated (by choice) fellow who notices her at the only other place he inhabits besides his home; the gym. Our second source is Bella, her mother, who gives us her daughter’s back story, and Susie, our main character’s best friend, who offers us information from our main character’s life as an adult and her explanation of the catalyst that inspired her transformation.
Personally, I was not too fond of our central figure. Even though I tried to sympathize with our central character’s circumstances and admire her determination. Did I feel this way because I was manipulated by the point of view of others? Probably.
I would consider using this text in a high school English class as an example of author craft. The themes presented would also lend themselves to deep and interesting classroom discussions. I will be on the lookout for more of Metcalf’s work in the future.

Thank you to Netgalley and Random House for the Advance copy. Chrysalis will be available for purchase in April.

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