Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Review: Chrysalis by Anna K. Abbi

 Genre: Memoir/LGBTQ


“Encapsulated in a body that could not move. Caught in a cast from my hips to the top of my head, situated in a CircOlectric bed that kept everything suspended and safe. The only thing that worked was a now-injured brain that was incessantly active and asking more of my body than it could handle. I lived, fought, and won my life back with the support of a large cast of helpers. I am the fortunate recipient of those extraordinary efforts. Visiting hours are now open; please accept my invitation to stop by.”


“Anna K. Abbi is a retired business professional who splits her time between California and southern Vermont. In retirement, she enjoys working on her books, creating stained glass art, and spending time with her two Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs and her 50-year-old parrot. She writes memoir and fiction under a pen name.”

For more, visit her website.


After a car accident the author finds herself in a hospital bed with serious injuries and the possibility of being a quadriplegic for the rest of her short life. The accident is in 1963 and … spoiler alert … the book description talking about winning her life back and her biography mentioning her stained glass art would seem to imply that she was eventually able to move to some degree and has obviously had a long life. However, this tale of what it took to get there, both on the part of the author and from those around her, is an incredible, uplifting story.

With the majority of the story taking place in the early 60s, I found it interesting to remember or realize how things were different then. Anna, the author, is a member of the LGBTQ community, and had several gay men as roommates. They kept things interesting when they’d come to visit her in the hospital. This also complicated her life in ways that it might not today, certainly not as much. I also noticed myself spotting things like when one of the hospital workers mentioned a health issue another worker had. This was an obvious HIPAA violation, but then it hit me that the law establishing HIPAA, preventing health professionals from telling others with no need to know about your personal health issues wasn’t going to be law for 30 more years. The world has changed a ton in the almost 50 years since Anna experienced this and, in many ways, it makes the story that much more incredible and uplifting. A fantastic read and incredible story.

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK


Some adult language and mild adult situations.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: BigAl

Approximate word count: 40-45,000 words

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