Dot Hutchison is the author of A Wounded Name, a young adult novel based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and the adult thriller The Butterfly Garden. With past experience working at a Boy Scout camp, a craft store, a bookstore, and the Renaissance Faire (as a human combat chess piece), Hutchison prides herself on remaining delightfully in tune with her inner young adult. She loves thunderstorms, mythology, history, and movies that can and should be watched on repeat.
The Butterfly Gardenby Dot Hutchison
Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.
In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely
Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.
In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.
When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself.
As her story twists and turns, slowly shedding light on life in the Butterfly Garden, Maya reveals old grudges, new saviors, and horrific tales of a man who’d go to any length to hold beauty captive. But the more she shares, the more the agents have to wonder what she’s still hiding.…
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“It was a strange kind of pain, choosing to lie there under the needles and let them write his ownership into my skin.” Ah man, this book is a book conceived in contrasts. It is creepy, sinister, and disturbing and….wrong, and yet it is compelling, completely engrossing and a thing of utter beauty in the way it was executed. The story shuffles between the present day (interviewing with the FBI), her time working at a restaurant in NY (prior to the Garden), her time in the Garden, which is shown through flashbacks during the FBI interview. Sometimes this can result in a complete complete mess of information and pacing, or stilt the flow but it was done masterfully and truly works here. Every shift in time and setting, I was instantly and seamlessly drawn back in. “…there I was, just another one of the Butterflies in his Garden. God creating his own little world.” The characters were rich and fully fleshed out with depth and dimensions. Even the secondary characters were well crafted and layered. I appreciated the intricate dynamics between the girls; the way they supported each other, protected each other, mourned each other. They weren’t all friends but they were a kind of family. They each had their own personality; a uniqueness that gave each one their own presence in the story….which speaks to the talent of the author. I liked how the Garden and Butterflies, and the Gardener were proper nouns. I can’t tell you why. It gave them significance maybe, importance? I don’t know, but I noticed that detail in the writing and I thought it was an interesting touch. My only complaint (and it’s a small one) would be that some aspects of the ending felt a little convenient, but I was completely enthralled and enjoyed this one!
Dot Hutchison's The Butterfly Garden is a dark read that cannot be put down. Psychology hats and blinders could be needed! FBI agents interview a female victim who has been kept in a world created by a mad man known as the Gardener. Narrative at first was a bit confusing because it is told in first person by investigative agent Victor Hanoverian and. our teenage girl. The Butterfly Garden in this book is not a place we imagine full of peace and tranquility. Although, the plot is shivery, the telling of the nightmare is quite artfully done by Hutchison. Reminds one of Hitchcock and the Twilight Zone.
He's called The Gardener. In his garden are much treasured butterflies ... young women who have been kidnapped. Once in his hands, he tattoos a beautiful butterfly across their entire backs. He then renames them and then he rapes them. He is a twisted, demented, man. The only way they get to leave is when 'he' decides to release them.. only to be embalmed and encased in resin to always remain young and beautiful. The story opens with FBI Agents Hanoverian and Eddison questioning a survivor when the garden is discovered. The girl says her name is Maya, the name the Gardener gave her. She refuses to reveal her real name and seems reluctant to say much of anything. The other survivors who are in the hospital are not talking, either. Eventually she begins to tell her story ....... And what a story it is! Full of twists and turns and suspense. It's sad, it's horrifying, it's disturbing. This is one you don't want to put down until the surprising ending. Many thanks to the author / Thomas & Mercer / NetGalley who provided a digital copy in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
The Butterfly Garden I received an electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. It did not influence my views or opinion of the book. I want to thank Thomas & Mercer and Netgalley for approving me for this review copy! Rating 4. When I start a book, I give it an initial rating of 3 and it goes up or down as I go along or flat lines. This book had a slow and steady climb. I was pleasantly surprised. Maya’s (or Inara, as we later learn…even that isn't her real name) world had three different phases. We get a quick overview of her early life which had a major impact on her throughout the story. Next came somewhat of a “ normalcy” in her life as she shared a NYC apartment with several of her fellow co-workers of a chic restaurant. This was short lived as she moved on, or more aptly put, kidnapped to the Butterfly Garden. This “world building” on these three levels was done expertly by the author. There was great visualization and I could “feel” her worlds. In Inara’s own words she describes herself, “Let’s call me a shadow child, overlooked rather than broken. I’m the teddy bear gathering dust bunnies under the bed, not the one-legged soldier.” Or like Agent Eddison said, “Some people stay broken. Some pick up the pieces and put them back together with all the sharp edges showing.” I think they are both are right. The setting is an interrogation room as this nightmarish, disturbing and gut retching story unfolds with Inara answering questions in her own time and her way by two FBI agents, Special Agent In-Charge Victor Hanoverian and Special Agent Brandon Eddison. Inara doesn't simply answer the questions…nooo, she has to tell the story. Hence, a slight difference in the flow. The questioning part is formal and concise, after all, it is the FBI agents who are asking the questions. Inara’s answers by telling the story of the Garden, the Gardner and the Butterflies. Both agents found this frustrating; but it was Agent Hanoverian who allowed Inara to tell what happened her way and in her own time. I found this third party telling interesting and a plus on the part of the author. It was soon obvious that Inara was hiding something; but what? Agent Hanoverian knew instinctively that the only way to get to the truth was to allow Inara to tell the story her way. All through this, we are introduced to the other Butterflies: Lyonette, Bliss, Danelle, Ravenna, Marenka, Tereza, Zara, Sirvat. It soon became apparent that there was a bond amongst the Butterflies, a strong one that brought them together old and new, present and past Butterflies. This was evident by the Butterflies refusal to talk to anyone until Maya (they wanted Maya, not Inara) was among them. The development of these characters was on going and they were brought to life for me. All of them were multidimensional. I felt it all and it was unnerving, disgusting, heart wrenching and yes, at times, heart warming. This book, this story is about inhumane treatment and the ugliest of sexual violence imaginable; but it wasn't shoved into your face for shock value, it was what it was…ugly. So what was Inara hiding? I don't know…it was contrived and forced to me. Not at all what I expected. I think more “telling of the story” by Inara was needed; but that’s just me. But in the end…. “Inara blinks rapidly, her eyes bright, but then tears spill over her lashes and down her cheeks. She touches a fingertip to the damp skin with astonishment.
First of all I must say, this is one of my favorite books. Yes, I liked it that much!! I read this book in one sitting, mainly because I couldn't put it down. Literally! I carried this book everywhere I went and everything I did. If I had a spare second, I wanted it where I could read just that much more. Awesome, awesome, read!! I immensely enjoyed every page! Great characters, unique story line, what can I say, perfect!!! 5 Stars!!