The Butterfly GardenThe Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It's astonishing how much of a questions she can answer without ever actually answer without ever actually answering of the questions... Even when she seems forthcoming, her answers almost always veer sideways, providing something like substances without giving away the heart.


I'll never look at a butterfly the same again. That's how much this horrifyingly-twisted book impacted my point of view. Since page 1, I literally could NOT stop reading and didn't even notice flipping the pages. The author is an excellent storytelling that this immediately pulled me in with a dark hook, and the narrator is clever in the interrogation room with all of her answers. Basically because it alternates between the current time at the FBI questioning and flashbacks to her childhood and teenage hood and her time in the "Butterfly Garden", but not in chronological order which makes the readers' brain work to piece together the story.

What made this an unforgettable favorite book, was that it took a close look at the real-life experiences and bonds of the victims. In this book there were complicated friendships with fleshed-out characters who all were such realistic humans. Many times I feel like how authors portray victims are in skewed versions of these emotional traumatic who can't joke around, and curse, and each be a piece of their family in the "Garden."

The main character, also the narrator, who is referred to as Maya is just a strong survivor that I immediately could emotionally connect to. She didn't feel like a cardboard cut-out, she felt like a young women with a backstory that shaped her and had strong motives to protect the people who are close to her. She is so blunt, and the author addresses all of these various issues in her experience very boldly, complete with medical/physical descriptions and the media process/coverage.

Overall, I can't count how many times my mouth was just hanging open in an "O" shocked because of what a sick psychopath is able to do, and the plot-twist at the end. It was the first truly "thrilling thriller" that I have read this year and I won't be forgetting it.

*Trigger warnings: rape, abuse, and sexual assault.*

**I got an e-ARC of this via NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review/opinion.**

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