Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Book Review: The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison

The Butterfly Garden is a psychological thriller that makes you keep reading late into the night. The story starts with two FBI men interviewing a victim though there is some doubt that she possibly participated in the atrocities of the Butterfly Garden. Victor and Eddison play the good cop, bad cop routine in an effort to elicit Maya's story which she tells in a series of flashbacks over two days.
Maya also gives them a lot of detail about her life before the Garden.
While it is sometimes difficult to keep track of the girls - there are a great number of them in the Garden as well as in an apartment share from earlier in Maya's life - each story is poignant, horrific, and well-told.
The Butterfly Garden is a giant greenhouse filled with lovely plants on an estate somewhere in Maryland. The Gardener is an older man who abducts the girls, tattoos elaborate butterfly wings on their backs, then rapes them repeatedly. His older son is more violent and tortures the girls as well. The Gardener is totally delusional, believing that he is saving these girls, his butterflies, but also believes that a butterflies life is short. Once a girl dies, he embalms her body in resin and displays it as part of his collection.
The concept here is enthralling and while there are a number of inconsistencies (why couldn't twenty or so girls overcome one old man to get out), I could gloss over them as I read, hoping they would be resolved eventually. I was hovering between a 4-5 star for this book until the last few pages.
The ending just ruined this book. It was not believable to me and such a huge disappointment. The inconsistencies were never explained either. Still, the author tells a good story; I just wish she had a better twist at the end.