The Butterfly Garden is possibly one of the most f-ed up books I have read in quite a long time. You know those books where you think “what sort of mind set was the author in when this cheery little tale popped into their head?”
In spite of this I could not put this book down. I didn’t even do my usual trick of falling asleep while I was reading in bed.
On a more annoying note my Kindle has found itself with a little crack on the screen which seems to have just come from no where. I always use a case and although I carry it around with me everywhere it is always very well protected. Or so I thought.
Anyway, back to this book. It is set in a Police Station during what I would call an interrogation based on the conversation which takes place but what it really should have been was a gentle conversation between a victim and detectives.
It revolves around Maya, a teenage girl who finds herself kidnapped and held in a garden with other girls by a man they all call “The Gardener”. We hear about the goings on of the garden from Mayas point of view as she re-tells the story to the police.
The story is utterly disgusting, it made me feel sick and terrified, but at the same time completely engrossed because the characters and the relationships between the girls was so intricate and you were introduced to so many different characters. The book showed you just how different people deal with such a terrible terrible thing in their life, the roles people take on when they are in a situation that they never thought they would ever find themselves in; Mother, Bitch, Introvert, Suck-up.
The book is honest; It doesn’t sugar coat, it doesn’t try to juxtapose the beauty of the garden with the hardship they have been dealt. In fact you are never really faced with any happiness whatsoever and any time you ever feel warmed by an interaction you are always immediately slapped in the face by the reality.
The only thing I really found disappointing was the ending; no, I wasn’t disappointed, I was just a bit…meh. You sort of know that Maya must be hiding something but I just wish there would have been more. Don’t let that put you off, this is a brilliant read and it really pulls you in to this disturbing existence. It makes you question what sort of person you are- when you’re faced with a difficult situation do you run and hide, do you fight it face on, do you let others do the hard work, sink back into your shell or lash out.