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I read a few reviews before I downloaded this book and some were so against it, I almost didn't get it. But I took a chance and downloaded because there were many good reviews too. This book was very good. I thought the narrators did a great a job, the plot was good, the twists were drawn out and good so you didn't see them coming. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of Law and Order SVU, NCIS, CSI, Gone Girl (or anything by Gillian Flynn really). The main character was so easy to side with and you really felt all that she thought of every character. Give the book a try, some parts might make you queasy but you can always skip 30 seconds ahead and it's usually over by then. I loved this book and I could definitely listen to it again.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful
What disappointed you about The Butterfly Garden?
This is just not an enjoyable audiobook.
I don't mind when elements of a story are unrealistic- it's fiction - and this is my favorite genre (crime fiction/suspense) so give me 'disturbing' any time: but the plot of The Butterfly Garden is bizarre to the point of laughable, but you can't laugh when the characters are just so ridiculous. I could only try so many times.
There are FBI agents who are scaredy cat ineffective. They are scared of the interviewee, a barely- 18 overly intellectual pretentious brat. Are you going to tell me that 2 hardened FBI agents can't grasp control over a difficult subject? They are so disturbed by assault and murder that they are near tears and have to leave the room?
Agent 1 has little personality, absolutely non-compelling. The male narrator reads like he's talking to kindergarteners. Agent 2 'bad cop' is yelling and banging tables just because he's so mad at the bad guys, not for any other apparent reason, such as, again, trying to elicit information from a hostile witness. He is such a baby that he can't stay in the room for more than a couple minutes at a time. And they are both quaking in their boots by the prospect of dealing with a politician mother of one of the victims? Come on.
What was most disappointing about Dot Hutchison’s story?
Why is our protagonist so hostile? It's unclear what she has to gain by her ridiculous posturing and purposeful antagonistic banter with these sad law enforcement agents. She is not willing to assist in a mass casualty investigation? Put her stuck up bottom in a cell that's not as fun and luxurious as being in a sorority garden of other gorgeous women who all love each other, and wait for her to be less spoiled. Brings up flashbacks of Orange is the New Black- which I also despised.
Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Lauren Ezzo and Mel Foster ?
Just like a great narrator can save a so-so book, a poor narrator can kill an otherwise decent book. Here, unfortunately, this is some of the worst narration I've heard, and the story cannot survive it. I can't think who WOULDNT do a better job narrating this book.
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
Pretty good and irritated.
Any additional comments?
Sorry, I don't buy it. I wanted to love this book, but I am really disappointed by the characters and the overly bizarre plot and these narrators. Make it stop.
Quite simply, I don't recommend this book.
69 of 81 people found this review helpful
Fascinating, intriguing, gentle and brutal. An hypnotic Danse Macabre that genuinely surprised me. They say never judge a book by its cover and well in this case you should beware the innocent sounding title as well! Hidden behind it is as twisted a story as you’re ever likely to read. There is insanity, brutality and the extinction of hope yet the quality of the writing within and the ultra-smooth delivery of Lauren Ezzo lead you on an almost surreally tranquil journey through the story's stark landscape.
The book is structured around an interview of one of the survivors of the garden. It’s a clever device which actually works better than I expected and gives the book a good rhythm without disrupting the flow. Foster’s gruffness provides a growling counterpoint to the smooth narrative sections from within the garden. There are some lighter, very human moments as the relationship between the FBI agents and the girl develops. There are also some surprisingly gentle interactions within the beautiful yet horrific world created by The Gardener.
For all those gentle touches though this book deals with the disturbing including moments of extreme cruelty. It really is no light holiday fiction for all the delicateness of its title and moments of genuine humanity. What it is, is a darnn good read though. If you have the fortitude to enter these dark places and appreciate the good writing you find when you get in there then you’ll find this a genuine treat from Dot Hutchison.
11 of 13 people found this review helpful
It was hard to stop listening, despite the dark twisted nature of the story. The main character is likeable and she draws you in to her life story, I respected her strength and attitude having suffered the way she has. However, throughout listening you feel as though you are constantly waiting for something, a twist or a turn ... that never comes. The ending is really disappointing and silly, it discredited the rest of the book for me. Because of the ending I lost interest and won't be listening to Dot Hutchinson's follow on book.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful