Top critical review
Left me sick to my stomach...
22 April 2019
I read this book in old fashioned paper, quite a few years ago and as it’s back on the best seller list and a Kindle monthly deal a friend suggested I read it - I bought it in Kindle and re-read it over the Easter long weekend to see if my original feelings/thoughts had altered, they had not so I felt it was time to write my real thoughts on this book... which are not as glowing as many others...
As a few others have mentioned, this one was a little odd & unexpected however, I appreciate good writing so there were elements that I “enjoyed” (if you can say that about “The Butterfly Gardnener”).
The story opens after the escape of women kept by a serial killer - The Gardener - who's selected his 'butterflies' in terms of beauty. Butterflies, real and metaphoric, have short shelf lives and the women who have been kidnapped live with this over their heads... Any infraction - from behaviour to imperfections - will result in an expiry date with The Gardener.
Ultimately, this is a revolting story about assault, rape, and torture of girls as young as 12, who are all described as being exceptionally beautiful with idealised bodies.
I read to the end, increasingly horrified but anticipating a conclusion that would make sense of the author's choices. The final pages were a complete let-down and I felt sick to my stomach...
As for the big twist at the end I felt like it was tacked on & clearly not a revelation; it was just the end of the actual experience but not the trauma (which the text points out and I thought was insightful).
If you like horror’s that are grim and pointless then you could enjoy “The Butterfly Gardener” - I did not enjoy it either time and will never read it again.