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Book Club | The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison

Author: Lauren Coleman

The lovely Emma Kingston from Year Of The Yes joins us again today to share her first Autumn/ Winter book club review. On a side note huge congratulations to Ms Kingston on getting engaged recently. We might have to ask you to review the Rock My Wedding book too 😉 Over to our favourite literary critic…

I found The Butterfly Garden on a ‘must-read’ list for 2016. I frequently pore over these kind of lists, but rarely remember to actually get the inhabitants of the list onto my reading pile. I resolved to change that starting with The Butterfly Garden. And it was certainly a good choice; I devoured it during a long haul flight on my holiday.

The Butterfly Garden is the tale of an isolated mansion that houses a beautiful garden. The garden is home to a collection of beautiful butterflies. Not the winged creatures that you or I would imagine, but a group of young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble different species of butterflies. A dark and twisted man known as the gardener tends the garden and its inhabitants.

We learn about the garden in the wake of its discovery, through a survivor, Maya, who is brought in for questioning by FBI agents.

What unravels is a gripping, dark and intriguing story that will make your skin crawl. Dot Hutchison paints a vivid picture of the haunting terror that those in the garden experience through her evocative and descriptive prose. It is cleverly navigated with twists and turns that really draw you into the garden and let your imagination run wild.

You can probably tell that I liked this thoroughly gripping read. It was certainly unique, but I have to say (like several of the reviews I had read before picking up the book) the end sorely disappointed me.

I won’t say any more for fear of ruining it for those that haven’t read the book (and you might disagree with me) but in just a few short pages, my investment in the story went from high to rock bottom. It was just too much of a stretch of probability for me. (Though perhaps it is more worrying that I found the portrait of the psychotic gardener far easier to believe).

I would love to hear what everyone else thought of it though? Did you find it as much of a page turner as me? What did you make of Maya as the main character? And how was the ending for you? (Spoiler alert: probably best to avoid the comments if you haven’t read the book but plan to).

BOOK CLUB READS
  • The Butterfly Garden
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  • The Marble Collector
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  • Go Set a Watchman
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  • Love From Boy
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5 thoughts on “Book Club | The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison

  1. I would completely agree! I loved the book and raced through it but for me the ending was rubbish. Not only was it unbelievable (unless I was completely missing something) it really made no difference to the story! It’s a shame because it’s a great book but you end up feeling a bit meh! about it because of the ending. Would be interested to read something else from the same author though. Which book is next? Xx

    1. Pleased to hear it wasn’t just me Emma! I was really ready for an explosive ending, but it was just SUCH a let down. And as you say, it just didn’t make any difference to the story. I didn’t realise at the time but apparently Butterfly Garden is the first in a trilogy called The Collector series. The next one – Roses of May – seems to be out next year, so I will definitely give it a go and hope for a more enthralling ending!

      I will let lovely Lauren tell you which book will be popping up on the blog next. But I highly recommend The Marble Collector (not at all biased) and I can’t wait to read the review for ‘Love From Boy’ and ‘Go Set A Watchman’ because they are both on my Amazon wishlist. It’s a good round of book club for me!! x

  2. Thank you so much lovely Lauren – I will definitely be up for reviewing the Rock My Wedding book… I already have it on pre-order 😉 x

  3. I’m not sure what to make of this book, the writing really sucked me in and it had a creepy haunting quality to it. Couldn’t put it down the whole way through. However as you said, the ending was disappointing, contrived, and just ruined the book for me. I also really struggled with the believability of it – 20+ girls and they never tried to all overpower the gardener and escape? And all calmly walked to their deaths? We didn’t really get shown a properly threatening side to the gardeners character to make it work.

    That said overall I liked the book. It was frustrating as it had the potential to be a really great read but the writer just couldn’t make it believable enough for me and the ending was just silly, particularly with all the build up with her ‘holding back a secret’.

    1. Totally agree with you on the ‘holding back a secret’ let-down. I was expecting a really clever plot twist and it was just a throwaway aside as far as I was concerned. But I did absolutely race through the book so, as Emma LS said, I would be really intrigued to read something else by the same author to give her another go… x

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