Review of Dot Hutchison's The Butterfly Garden



A review of an excellent new thriller novel by Dot Hutchison.

Okay, so holy sh*t, this book. This book! Imagine me as David Tennant saying “this book” about half a dozen times.


I rate this book 5/5 stars, to find out why, read my review below. No major spoilers, outside of the information from the Editor’s synopsis.

Synopsis (Via…Me!)

Imagine a garden so beautiful, it hurts to look at. Imagine beautiful trees, abundant breathtaking flowers, and butterflies.

Imagine some of those butterflies are not insects, but people.

“The Gardener’s” greenhouse garden is not only an oasis, but a prison. Inside it lies twenty some-odd young women. All kidnapped, their ownership marked by tattoos of butterflies on their backs. The girl’s captor, The Gardner, is a sick and twisted man. He will do anything to preserve the beauty of his prisoners.

Maya, a survivor of the garden, tells her tale to two FBI agents. She reveals her account of the twisted time in captivity. Made known are the stories of her torturers, her fellow captives, and her savior.

My review

I must warn audiences that there are mentions of rape, pedophilia, profanity, and murder.

The author weaves the tale together by alternating through first and third person. While in first person, the style of narrative is less formal yet completely realistic. I enjoyed the parts where Maya told her story. I also appreciated the breaks for air where we read Eddison’s reactions to Maya’s story.

While this book wasn’t horrifying, it left me disturbed. Both Maya’s story of her time in the garden and her backstory were disturbing. Aside from that, some parts of the book had me tearing through it. I was eager to find out what was next up until the end. The ending itself left me in tears of happiness.

The ending of this book is satisfying. It featured a twist that came out of nowhere but was still wrapped up at the end as if tied in a bow. The twist at the end was perfect and added further depth to your feels at the end of the book.

This is the best thriller novel I have read in a long time. I don’t know which other books to compare it to. This plot is unique, unlike any other story I’ve read before.

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