The Butterfly Garden (2016) Short Review

Author: Dot Hutchison
Find it on Goodreads.

I’ve read The Butterfly Garden in exactly 9 hours. While the book only features 288 pages, they were so beautifully created, thought about, timed and written that this story became one of my favorites fast enough.

The storyline alone is terribly interesting. I’ve read a great deal about serial killers, cults, captives, FBI, investigations and all, but I was still incredibly intrigued by Hutchison’s creativity. The characters are alive, and the protagonist herself is a work of art. You never know how she’s gonna react, and her difficult path of physical and personal growth is amazingly detailed to us in her own words. I still think about her days after reading the book.

The facts are all scattered at first, and the way they’re woven together is pure genius. Although the Garden‘s narrative is pretty heavy and sometimes, quite frankly, terrifyingly fetishistic, I felt like the shock and horror were necessary to expose once again the darkest part of the human mind and soul, and the lengths we go to hurt each other while satisfying our own needs. I’m glad the author made sure we knew who the bad guy was, and while we could understand him, we also hated and dreaded him as much as we should. Even if this happens, it’s still in a bold way. Since the main character is the one telling the story, even more closeness is added to this terrific tale, which played to the narrative’s advantage as well. The ending is not my favorite, but it had little to no effect on my opinion of this story.

Hutchison’s writing is greatly delicate and elegant, even when describing the darkest of facts, and her references to classic literature is just on point. She coins these little figures of speech of her own, and goes back to them just enough that we almost incorporate on daily thought. The whole book is really closed, serious and gathered. The main curious thing that I can point out about this amazing book is that it still manages to be beautiful, human, sad and lovable while also displaying murder, rape, despair and sickness into its tale, because that’s how life is.

I recommend this cruel and ethereal story to anyone who’s above 18.

A quote: “I wondered if I could have Bliss make a tiny girl with dark hair and golden skin to sit on that black-and-red horse and spin and spin and spin on the carousel and watch all the rest of the world walk away from her. But if I’d asked, she would have asked why, and that little girl didn’t need the sympathy so much as she needed to just finally be forgotten.”


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