Scots writer Catherine Deveney grabs you from the first sentence of The Chrysalis.
This gripping novel, as the title suggests, tackles issues of transformation.
The protagonist is Marianne, an elderly woman living in a care home. With her failing health she feels let down by her ageing body and
mind. This decline has led Marianne to feel that it’s time she shared a gruesome secret that she has carried with her for decades before the memory of that fateful night fades beyond recall.
She still remembers the night 50 years before when a man was murderd in an idyllic French town and enlists the help of her carer Zak in revealing the truth.
Zak is a young man who believes that he was born into the wrong body. His journey is reminiscent of that of Marianne’s former husband, Raymond, who was a transsexual.
The past and present collide as Marianne’s memories of how Ramond struggled with his identity chime with the issues her carer is grappling with.
In this beautifully crafted thriller, the reader is drawn in to the lives of these characters, watching them grow and reveal different versions of themselves.
The Chrysalis is not a light read, at times it is extremely intense and emotional. However, it is an intriguing take on identity which will appeal to a wide age group.
The Chrysalis, by Catherine Deveny, published by Old Street Publishing, £8.99