Troubador Chrysalis

Released: 28/01/2018

ISBN: 9781788039369

eISBN: 9781788030779

Format: Paperback/eBook

Review this Book



Chrysalis is the debut novel from Jeremy Welch exploring a range of themes in a universal and ultimately hopeful story. The book follows Sebastian, a self-absorbed financier who spends his time wallowing in a social ambiance he despises. Sebastian is dissatisfied with his life and his inability to take any positive decisions since making a catastrophic error when he was a young officer serving in Iraq.

When Sebastian is fired from his job, he turns to his ex-lover Zoe who urges him to pursue his passion for writing. Following her advice, Sebastian moves to Amsterdam to try to complete the novel he started as a student, hoping that this will rekindle his interest in life.

While living in Amsterdam, Sebastian befriends the ethereal owner of a travelling Spiegeltent called Chrysalis. The cast of the Spiegeltent offer him a glimpse of a life he desires. The only thing holding Sebastian back is his inability to make a decision. Overcoming his usual passivity Sebastian surprises himself by intervening in the assault of a prostitute. So opens the gateway to the underworld of Amsterdam and the possibility of his redemption.

Inspired by the work of William Boyd and John Irving, Chrysalis is a unique novel exploring a wide range of themes. The book will appeal to readers that enjoy contemporary fiction, as well as those interested in serious issues such as love, widowhood, post-traumatic stress disorder and migration and sex trafficking.

That's Books

Scottish Field

The Edinburgh Reporter

Books Monthly

Undiscovered Scotland

As I finish reading "Chrysalis" by Jeremy Welch, I can't help but recalling this quote: "He Who Saves Just one Life Saves The World Entire" (from the Jewish Talmud). This book vividly describes the red light district of Amsterdam, as the main character Sebastian, fed up with the materialistic grind of London, escapes to find himself, by attempting in writing his first novel, and becoming involved with his new surroundings. Unknowingly he rents a place, which happens to be where he is able to observe and form relationships with the people living at the fringe of society. Non-judgmentally, with passion and compassion he learns of the fate and course of prostitution, victims of human trafficking, as well as the Spiegletent (a cabaret type circus), who become his friends and muses. The hopelessness of the victims of human trafficking is expressed through the voice and passion of a man that wants to help.

by Keren Krinick (via NetGalley)

The book has it all, humour, emotion, suspense and Action. Very well written and very enjoyable to read. Thoroughly recommended.

by Stephen Dickinson

Welch tells a great story. It starts slowly and then speeds up to a final reveal that surprised me. By the end it is running fast, so stay with it for the ride.

You want to know more as you read as Welch develops the action. Many of the characters are memorable. Rosie and the twins are perfectly formed.

For me, the best parts of the book are set in Amsterdam. You feel like you are there and involved in the action. The lives of performers are captured along with what they care about.

A great first book and look forward to the next one.

by OB

A great read that builds to a surprising reveal. Hold on for the ride.

You feel you are in Amsterdam and emotionally involved with the troupe. The main character,Sebastian, evolves as a person and Rosie and the twins are perfectly formed.

Can't wait for Welch's next one.

by Oliver Berry

Just finished this and loved every page. Beautifully descriptive and wonderful characterization. You don't so much as read this but take part in it, as an extra / cast member of its imagined dramatization.

It would make a wonderful film or screenplay and builds to a thrilling climactic conclusion. Let's hope we haven't seen or heard the last of Sebastian, Umuntu and the rest of the Spiegeltent family - a sequel is begging!

by RawMelodyMe

Utterly new fresh style - got lost in the depths of a fascinating story which kept me hooked throughout. The detailed observations of people interactions simply wonderful. Order kick back and enjoy!

by Joanna

Chrysalis works as a title for this book on many levels, and recognises the need to change when moving through the different stages of our lives. The book shows how these evolutions interact not just for the main protagonist, Sebastian, but also for those around him. Set against the context of the red-light district of Amsterdam and human-trafficking it is a book that not only enthralled me but made me consciously think about those in circumstances of which I know little. One has to ask oneself where the ideas for this book came from, as reality is always stranger than fiction. Life is not always as it seems! Looking forward to Jeremy’s next . . .

by David Denholm

Sebastian is an interesting character who initially I wasn't sure I was going to like, but through the personal journey he takes in this novel, the reader sees another side to him. With wonderful descriptions and dialogue, Welch manages to bring not only the intriguing streets of Amsterdam to life but also the diverse range of people that Sebastian encounters while there. I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading future books from this author.

by Toni N

Jeremy Welch’s ambitious first novel provides a rich narrative peppered with black humour, burlesque and parody despite its sometimes dark content. Occasionally cinematic in feel, Amsterdam, with all its paradoxes, is vividly brought to life as are an unorthodox and fascinatingly colourful cast of characters. The author successfully delivers the hard-hitting and uncompromising writing necessary for the story’s disturbing main plot line whilst also displaying a deftness of touch when delineating the story’s other theme of the liberating nature of love in all its guises. Its pace is periodically reflective, occasionally frenetic but always absorbing and at the novel’s redemptive conclusion, the reader is broadsided by a most unusual and unexpected twist in the tale.
You’ll race through this book, so it’s most definitely a title for your summer holiday reading list but also, given its unflinching look at the sex trade and sex slavery in the West, it will provide your book clubs with plenty to discuss and debate.

by Madeleine Hepworth

I read this book months ago and am almost ready to read it again. It’s a brilliant debut, a thouroughly original story and a gripping read. Well done to Jeremy Welch. Five stars.

by Damian

I really enjoyed reading this book , fascinating insight into the working of the underworld in Amsterdam and the close relationships between the characters. Highly recommended

by Suki day

Really loved this book it’s a great read and a good insight into alternative life styles in Amsterdam. Highly recommended

by Suki day

Loved this book. Reminded me of trips to Amsterdam and swept me along at a great pace. Very happy to recommend.

by Sarah

The author was signing copies in a local store to me and, after chatting for a few minutes I decided to purchase the book.

I found it very engaging from the start and finished it in 3 days!

The characters are very well described and the story line riveting in places - I was able to imagine scenery and situations very well

Really looking forward to the next book by Jeremy

by Stacey

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