The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison

Dark, taut and awful without veering into the macabre or melodramatic. A horrific plot line made enjoyable by an author who doesn’t get mired in the bog of toying with her reader’s emotions. At first the book felt dry and confusing. Smug. I thought the author was being cutesy and the main character felt distant and unrealistic. As the story developed and became more appalling the emotional separation provided by the writing style made everything more palatable. I don’t think that I would have gotten through this book with a touchy-feely main character.

Plot – a man kidnaps young women and keeps them in a garden – his butterflies to be protected, revered and never allowed to grow old.

I wasn’t sure about this book. It was a very quick read, but there’s so little emotion that I nearly quit in the first 75 pages. By page 200 I was nearly wrecked – swamped by a kind of sadness that comes with a really good dark read. I highly recommend this for the literary-thrill-seekers out there.

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