You'll love this one...!! A book club & more discussion

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Group Themed Reads: Discussions > June 2017 - The Butterfly Garden

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message 1: by Peggy, Moderator (new)

Peggy (pebbles84) | 14839 comments One of the group reads for April is The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison. Please discuss the book in this thread.

The discussion leader is Lisa.

In order to receive a badge you must:
1. have completed the book before or during June 2017.
2. discussed it in this thread. Discussion must be more than "I read the book and I liked it". Discussion requires something more substantial and analytical of what you read, for example, thoughts, opinions, impact it had on you, what was your favourite part, was it what you expected it to be like etc. You may also like to review the book and post a link to the review in this thread.
3. Report that you have read AND discussed the book in the reporting thread (include a brief summary of what you thought of the book).

General Rules:
1. Please mark your spoilers with the spoiler tags along with mentioning what stage of the book you are at so other's don't get a nasty shock. Chapter numbers/titles are generally best as they are the same across all formats and editions.
2. The book may be combined with the Year Long Challenge, Topplers, and Monthly Challenges.

Happy reading!


message 2: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisathebooklover) | 9244 comments I will be starting this a bit later today.


message 3: by Rich (new)

Rich | 92 comments I will be starting soon. How do you add a spoiler tag?


message 4: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisathebooklover) | 9244 comments Rich, when you go to write a comment, above the comment box you should see a link that reads (some html is ok). Click on that and it shows you how to add spoilers, underline text, write in bold, etc. If you are still unsure, let us know and we will try to show you :)


message 5: by Peggy, Moderator (new)

Peggy (pebbles84) | 14839 comments I tried to show it by making an example, but no matter how I altered the spoiler tags (adding spaces or *) they kept working like normal spoiler tags.

In case you're on the app and can't see the html is ok link, you can type

(spoiler) your text (/spoiler)

Replace the ( ) with < > and it should work.


message 6: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18169 comments I will be dtarting this later today after I finish my current book.


message 7: by Ben (new)

Ben (basebox) | 113 comments Looking forward to starting this one, I shall begin this evening.


message 8: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 13211 comments I'm looking forward to reading this one. I plan to start after the toppler.


message 9: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18169 comments I have read about 6 pages so far. I like that the women have been found right from the start. (view spoiler)


message 10: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18169 comments This is going to be tricky to discuss as the book is only split in to 3 parts with no further breakdown in to chapters. So I think we'll have to wait until the end of each part to safely discuss or mark what % we're at.


message 11: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisathebooklover) | 9244 comments I am at the 15% mark, around Page 41. The Kindle version appears to have really long chapters. It's divided up into smaller sections but I think they are all part of one chapter. Is anyone reading the print version? Is it the same layout?

Sarah, I'm in agreement about the women being found at the start. Hopefully it means the book won't all be doom and gloom, although I think we are in for a very dark ride.

I'm not really sure what to make of this so far. I'm finding it very difficult to connect with (view spoiler)

Whilst I understand that (view spoiler)

Has anyone here read The Collector by John Fowles? This book definitely has similarities to that, (view spoiler), and I wonder if Dot Hutchinson took some inspiration from it for this novel?

I'm intrigued as to what has happened (view spoiler)

How are the rest of you finding it so far?


message 12: by Rich (new)

Rich | 92 comments Peggy thanks. I was on app version and you can't see as you say.
I can use web version for group or as you say.
Haven't started book yet.


message 13: by Ben (new)

Ben (basebox) | 113 comments Started reading this morning and I too (view spoiler)


message 14: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18169 comments I have a long train journey later so I will be reading this book on the way which I'm looking forward to. I will then be putting the book aside for a week for the toppler. Hopefully I can finish the first part of this book before then so I can come and discuss it. I'm not up for peeking at spoilers otherwise I might ruin the story.


message 15: by Lisa (last edited Jun 02, 2017 02:59AM) (new)

Lisa (lisathebooklover) | 9244 comments Ben wrote: "Started reading this morning and I too [spoilers removed]"

Ben, I also wondered (view spoiler)


message 16: by Anne (Booklady) (new)

Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo (wwwgoodreadscomAnneMolinarolo) | 1282 comments I'll start this today or right after the toppler, Lisa. Is that okay?


message 17: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18169 comments Anne (Booklady) wrote: "I'll start this today or right after the toppler, Lisa. Is that okay?"

You can start the book whenever you desire Anne. Good to have you reading with us.


message 18: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisathebooklover) | 9244 comments Anne (Booklady) wrote: "I'll start this today or right after the toppler, Lisa. Is that okay?"

You can start it anytime you want to, Anne :) The discussion is open all month and the book can be read anytime throughout the month, so dive in whenever you want.


message 19: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisathebooklover) | 9244 comments Hehe, looks like our posts crossed there, Sarah!


message 20: by KimeyDiann (new)

KimeyDiann | 2174 comments I'll be starting this one when the toppler is finished. It is a re-read for me and I think I'll be listening to it this time. I'm curious to see if the audio changes my perception of the story, either by enhancing it or detracting from it. Often a good narrator can make a book pack more of a punch, especially with such dark and emotional topics as in this one.


message 21: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 13211 comments I think I'm going with the audio of this one too, Kimey.


message 22: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisathebooklover) | 9244 comments KimeyDiann wrote: "I'll be starting this one when the toppler is finished. It is a re-read for me and I think I'll be listening to it this time. I'm curious to see if the audio changes my perception of the story, eit..."

Hopefully the audio will enhance it for you, Kimey. Who is the narrator?


message 23: by KimeyDiann (new)

KimeyDiann | 2174 comments Lauren Ezzo and Mel Foster


message 24: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisathebooklover) | 9244 comments KimeyDiann wrote: "Lauren Ezzo and Mel Foster"

Ah, okay. I can't say I have heard of either of them, but hopefully they will do a good job :)


message 25: by KimeyDiann (new)

KimeyDiann | 2174 comments I very rarely remember narrator's names so neither of those ring a bell for me either. I often remember voices though, and spend the first little bit of the book trying to remember what else they read to me. lol.


message 26: by Lisa (last edited Jun 02, 2017 02:53PM) (new)

Lisa (lisathebooklover) | 9244 comments I finished Chapter 1.

I'm not enjoying it much so far. I think it's very (view spoiler)

Talking of (view spoiler)


message 27: by Margo (new)

Margo | 9593 comments I started last night and have only made it to the end of chapter 4. I got the kindle version and added audio. I am finding the audio a bit jarring with very abrupt changes in reader when the narration swaps character.

(view spoiler)


message 28: by Margo (last edited Jun 03, 2017 03:44AM) (new)

Margo | 9593 comments The audio is broken into chapters but it always is. I will have to look at the kindle version to get the % complete gor my future spoilers to make any sense !

The audio is broken into 27 chapters so I am on page 31, 11% through.


message 29: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisathebooklover) | 9244 comments Margo wrote: "I started last night and have only made it to the end of chapter 4. I got the kindle version and added audio. I am finding the audio a bit jarring with very abrupt changes in reader when the narrat..."

The print version is a bit jarring too, Margo. The narrator changes often, sometimes after only a paragraph or two, so just when you get used to one narrator, it changes back again. I'm not impressed with the writing style to be honest. I can't put my finger on why exactly, but it's not working for me so far. Obviously it's early days and there is plenty of time for me to change my mind, but I'm worried this is going to end up being another overrated, damp squib.

(view spoiler)


message 30: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisathebooklover) | 9244 comments I am going to be putting this aside for the next week because of the toppler. If I have time, I might try and read a few pages here and there but I imagine most of my reading time will be taken up with toppler books.


message 31: by Margo (new)

Margo | 9593 comments Hmm, if everyone is heading off to do the toppler I might put it aside for a while and move onto something else. This is a strange one :-/


message 32: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 13211 comments Margo, you could come join the toppler. :)


message 33: by Lisa (last edited Jun 03, 2017 06:09AM) (new)

Lisa (lisathebooklover) | 9244 comments Margo wrote: "Hmm, if everyone is heading off to do the toppler I might put it aside for a while and move onto something else. This is a strange one :-/"

Please don't feel you have to put it aside, Margo. Even though some of us will be focusing on toppler books, we can still pop in and discuss it. Depending on where we all are in the book and where you get to, we may not be able to talk about specific spoilers, but we can discuss general things about it and then discuss specific spoilers once we are back reading it again. Plus, I'm not sure everyone who is currently reading it is taking part in the toppler.


message 34: by Margo (new)

Margo | 9593 comments My other group is reading The Grapes of Wrath but I don't much in the mood for that either. I read it about 30 years ago and I font it very grim but I'm hoping that with the benefits of maturity I might like it more ;-)

I finished a book today and I'm having a hard time getting into anything else :-(


message 35: by Jenn (new)

Jenn | 2138 comments I started The Butterfly Garden yesterday - already almost half-way, but am going to have to set it aside in favour of Toppler reads. I'm finding that I have to backtrack, just a little - but frequently, in order to follow narrator and tense, and while I fully acknowledge that this in not my genre, I am also completely engrossed. Looking forward to getting back to this one.


message 36: by Margo (new)

Margo | 9593 comments I decided to trundle on - I am thinking that, if I put aside I may never finish it!

24% (page 65): my primary thoughts are still that this is a very choppy story. I am so glad I added audio or I would have serious difficulty knowing who was speaking. Call me a traditionalist but I think it probably works better when the text indicates who is speaking.

(view spoiler)


message 37: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisathebooklover) | 9244 comments Lol, Margo! I had the exact same thoughts as you with regards to (view spoiler)

I admire you for listening to the audiobook. The story is so choppy that it must be a complete nightmare trying to follow it.


message 38: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisathebooklover) | 9244 comments Jenn wrote: "I started The Butterfly Garden yesterday - already almost half-way, but am going to have to set it aside in favour of Toppler reads. I'm finding that I have to backtrack, just a little - but freque..."

Glad you are engrossed, Jenn :) I'm having the opposite experience, it's a genre that I normally enjoy and I have read numerous books with dark and disturbing subject matters and content, but this is doing nothing for me so far. If I wasn't the discussion leader, I probably would have abandoned it by now.


message 39: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 13211 comments Margo & Lisa - I'm sorry that you aren't enjoying it! That's so disappointing.


message 40: by Rich (new)

Rich | 92 comments Just finished beartown book. Going to start book next. Not feeling good about butterfly garden. I put it down at 20% awhile back. Going to start over.


message 41: by Rich (new)

Rich | 92 comments I have started book. I am at 4%, it seems ok so far.


message 42: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisathebooklover) | 9244 comments Rich wrote: "I have started book. I am at 4%, it seems ok so far."

Is there anything you particularly like or dislike about it so far, Rich?


message 43: by Peggy, Moderator (new)

Peggy (pebbles84) | 14839 comments It looked like such a good read from the blurb and rating.

From your comments it seems like a confusing book, and that always takes the fun out of it for me too.


message 44: by Lisa (last edited Jun 04, 2017 03:11AM) (new)

Lisa (lisathebooklover) | 9244 comments Peggy wrote: "It looked like such a good read from the blurb and rating.

From your comments it seems like a confusing book, and that always takes the fun out of it for me too."


The story itself isn't confusing but the writing style is. I just wish it wasn't so choppy. I don't mind jumping back and forth between narrators but when the jumps are as frequent as they are in here, it does suck some of the enjoyment out of it. However, that is far from my only problem with this book. At the moment, I am perplexed as to why it has gotten so many good ratings on Goodreads. Maybe if you can suspend your disbelief enough then you may enjoy it. Or maybe it will improve dramatically later on...


message 45: by Margo (new)

Margo | 9593 comments Peggy it's an unusual structure. It isn't working well for me on audio but based on the average GR rating it seems to have worked for the majority of readers. Lisa and I are in the minority so don't let us put you off - you might love it ;-)


message 46: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisathebooklover) | 9244 comments Margo wrote: "Peggy it's an unusual structure. It isn't working well for me on audio but based on the average GR rating it seems to have worked for the majority of readers. Lisa and I are in the minority so don'..."

Lol, I usually am in the minority when it comes to books ;)


message 47: by Rich (new)

Rich | 92 comments so far the story is through maya point of view. The pace of the story is pretty good. It is a kind of a unique place the gardener has built there so that is intriguing so far.
Maya seems pretty casual about what happened to her, not sure why that is.


message 48: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisathebooklover) | 9244 comments Rich wrote: "so far the story is through maya point of view. The pace of the story is pretty good. It is a kind of a unique place the gardener has built there so that is intriguing so far.
Maya seems pretty ca..."


Yes, her reaction to what happened is a bit odd, isn't it? It's not the way you would expect someone to react in her situation.


message 49: by Margo (new)

Margo | 9593 comments Agree with Rich (view spoiler)


message 50: by Rich (new)

Rich | 92 comments Yes that magical feel, dont think it's going to last.


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