The Butterfly Garden

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The Butterfly Garden: Surviving Childhood on the Run with One of America's Most Wanted (book)
The Butterfly Garden.ti.tif
Author Chip St. Clair
Country United States
Language English
Genre Memoir
Publisher HCI
Publication date
Media type Print
Pages 304
ISBN 0-7573-0695-0

The Butterfly Garden is a 2008 memoir by Chip St. Clair. The book is an autobiographical memoir that is told in the first person by St. Clair and is framed in such a way that as his adult character is revealing testimony to members of a parole board at a hearing for his father, he is in fact recalling the childhood memories that provide the premise of the main story.

Due to the inspirational message as well as the compelling true crime aspect, the memoir has reached a broader than expected audience of readers, having been incorporated into the curriculum of high schools, universities, rehabilitation and juvenile detention facilities across the country, in addition to becoming a cornerstone in training for law enforcement, prosecutors, and DHS in several states.[citation needed] The Butterfly Garden has been translated into Lithuanian, and is available in both audio and electronic formats. Film rights had been optioned for a year and a half, yet lack of notable progress resulted in the rights being reverted to the author.[citation needed]


"The Butterfly Garden is a story of pain and despair, but more importantly, of astonishing courage and resiliency. It is a memoir, but also a mystery and a thriller, as Chip St. Clair tells of his tortured childhood at the hands of a sadistic father, a father with a dark and dangerous secret. The Butterfly Garden speaks to age-old themes of tragedy and triumph. But in the end, it is about the healing powers of hope and forgiveness. It is not to be missed." Detroit Free Press[1]

"Chip St. Clair brilliantly exemplifies the courage that remains in a child who has had his entire world destroyed on a regular basis by a perverse father – the same courage that remains as an adult when he decides not only to confront his enslavement, but to bare his soul in this book. His courage makes him a hero, his prose makes him an artist. Chip St. Clair can write. Were it up to me The Butterfly Garden would be required reading in middle schools; perhaps fostering the chutzpah of young people willing to stand up and name their accusers. And demand society’s retribution." David Keith, Actor[2]

"The Butterfly Garden is a work of art that transcends any memoir that I have ever read. This is a work that, once read, will never be forgotten." Marc Klaas, child advocate and founder, KlaasKids Foundation[3]



  1. ^ St. Clair. Memoirs. 2008. Endorsement page.
  2. ^ St. Clair. Memoirs. 2008. Endorsement page.
  3. ^ St. Clair. Memoirs. 2008. Endorsement page.

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