• Selena | Beauty's Library

The Butterfly Garden Review

A collection of precious “butterflies”—young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes.


Rating: 5/5

Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.


In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”—young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.

Oh, man... That was truly something.


We start this story at the end. Then, through the eyes of one of the girls that were kidnapped, we’re told all the details leading up to the ending. This girl, Maya shares her experience at The Garden. What went on there, what happened to the girls, why they were there. It flows really well as we jump between Maya being interviewed by the FBI agents and Maya sharing her story. I truly adored Maya’s character. She was so witty and caring, even though she denies that she was caring or liked caring for others. She took the role of being the mother of the girls when no one else would.


We see The Gardener who believes truly that what he’s doing isn’t wrong. That his Garden is a sanctuary for these girls. He believes that he’s just collecting beautiful girls to claim as his own. It’s extremely twisted and wrong on a number of levels.


This concept of The Gardener with his collection of butterflies, girls roughly between the ages of 16-18 who he kidnaps and tattoos their backs with elaborate butterfly wings. It’s so incredibly twisted and sinister. Yet, at the same time creative and in its own fucked up way, beautiful. Now when I say beautiful, I mean by the amount of detail that we get to hear about this sanctuary known as “The Garden.” Hutchison paints a picture so well of what this place looks like, and what it was like to be in its captivity.


It’s so incredibly twisted and sinister. Yet, at the same time creative and in its own fucked up way, beautiful.

I honestly don’t think I would have ever discovered this book if it weren’t for the Darkishly Bookish group I’m in. This was their September buddy read. I’ve never heard of it before. And I just absolutely loved reading this.


The Butterfly Garden is incredibly written. We learn through the eyes of Maya, all the other girls there in the Garden with her, and what they went through. We see the different ways the girls reacted to such an experience as being kidnapped. Not one person had reacted in the same way. It really explores the different types of mental states that someone could go through both being the captor and the captive. We see the reactions of the girls individually as well as The Gardener and his sons. It’s truly unique. If I could have, I might have read this in one sitting. I just didn’t want to put it down, I was completely captivated by this book. I just wanted to know what happened to those girls.


Not one person had reacted in the same way. It really explores the different types of mental states that someone could go through both being the captor and the captive.

Overall, I really loved this book. It’s earned a spot on my favorites shelf for sure. I just adored the creativity and how detailed everything was about this book. I felt as if I could truly see The Garden through Maya’s eyes. I do know this is not a book for everyone. There are major triggers of kidnapping and rape. So consider this before picking it up. But I think if you’re not affected by those triggers and enjoy thrillers, you’ll enjoy this one.