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The Butterfly Garden  (The Collector, #1)
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February 2017: Quirky > The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison ⭐️⭐️

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message 1: by Jenni Elyse (last edited Feb 05, 2017 10:22PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jenni Elyse (jenni_elyse) | 1264 comments I'm counting this book as quirky because it switches between first-person narration and third-person narration, which isn't something you encounter very often (at least I don't).

A rich man has built a butterfly garden with high walls and a glass roof in the middle of his large property. The garden doesn't contain real butterflies, however. Instead there are 20+ young girls between the ages of 16 and 21, the Gardener calls his butterflies. He calls these girls butterflies because he tattoos beautiful, intricate wings on their backs as a way to christen and introduce them to his garden. The girls are there to satisfy his every sexual whim, but he deludes himself into thinking they're not prisoners and they love him because he's taking care of them. He thinks they want to be his forever so he gives them immortality by entombing them in glass and resin once they're too "old."

After I read Behind Closed Doors, I read some reviews to see what others thought. One person said The Butterfly Garden was better because it was more suspenseful and more plausible. I enjoyed Behind Closed Doors but I was looking for another psychological thriller to read so I thought I'd give this one a go.

As I said above, the story shifts between first-person narration and third-person narration. We start after Maya, one of the butterflies, is in a room talking to the FBI about the garden. She and the other girls have been rescued and the detectives are trying to piece together what happened. When Maya retells her time in the garden, the story takes place from her point-of-view. When detectives ask her questions and relay information about the outside world, the story is in third-person limited.

The book was indeed suspenseful. I wanted to keep reading and I wanted to find out what happened and how the girls were rescued. However, it definitely wasn't very plausible. I actually found this one more implausible than Behind Closed Doors. (view spoiler)

I think I could've liked it and even overlooked its implausibility (I'll buy anything if I like something enough) IF the Gardener hadn't seemed so "normal" instead of the psychopath he was. The multiple rapes seemed more like normal sexual encounters than the assaults they were and that didn't sit well with me.


message 2: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6238 comments Yikes - - this one sounds more edgy than quirky, lol (but totally think your rationale works). What a premise! I do like authors who try to push the envelope personally . . .sorry the end result wasn't more to your liking.


Jenni Elyse (jenni_elyse) | 1264 comments Anita wrote: "Yikes - - this one sounds more edgy than quirky, lol (but totally think your rationale works). What a premise! I do like authors who try to push the envelope personally . . .sorry the end result wa..."

It definitely is edgy as well. Edgy fans *might* like this. I normally like edgy, but I'm very particular about how rape is portrayed in media. If rape is going to frequent a book, I want the rapist to be portrayed as evil through and though. Otherwise, it messes with my head too much.


message 4: by Joi (new)

Joi (missjoious) | 3755 comments Interesting. This 'dark and edgy' kind of thing generally intrigues me, I like that this is considered mystery- thriller- horror. But your lukewarm review definitely puts me off. Sounds very Stockholm Syndrome-y.


Jenni Elyse (jenni_elyse) | 1264 comments The interesting thing is that it's not Stockholm Syndrome at all (except for one girl). They girls call it rape throughout the whole book. He's just not portrayed as a psychopath. It's hard for me to explain why. He just seemed like a "nice man" but very delusional, that's all. I hope that makes more sense.


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