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The Butterfly Garden: Surviving Childhood on the Run with One of America’s Most Wanted

  • ISBN13: 9780757306952
  • Condition: NEW
  • Notes: Brand New from Publisher. No Remainder Mark.

Product Description

One of America’s Most Fascinating True Crime Cases

Fear rocked Chip St. Clair’s world. As a boy, he never knew what would set his father off–maybe the ice cubes had melted in his glass of Tab, maybe dinner was overcooked or undercooked or the gravy was too runny. Regardless, the beatings always came. As did the twisted games of cat and mouse–being thrown from a rowboat into frigid Lake Michigan, the middle-of-the-night moves to different states, or being left to dangle over a ten-story balcony while his father watched from inside. But one fateful night when the police answered the call, the truth came to light from the shadows, sparking national headlines: Chip St. Clair’s entire life–his name, even his date of birth–had been a lie, and the man he called ‘Dad’ was an impostor, an escaped child killer who had been on the run for over two decades. The stunning revelation would send one of America’s Most Wanted to justice and another on a quest for his true identity.

With chilling detail and a riveting, lyrical narrative, The Butterfly Garden reveals St. Clair’s struggle to piece together his haunted past before it consumes him and shares his inspiring metamorphosis from victim to victim’s advocate. The Butterfly Garden is a timeless triumph, a reminder that hope can be the most powerful of all emotions, freeing us to soar despite the past and the odds against us.

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5 Responses to “The Butterfly Garden: Surviving Childhood on the Run with One of America’s Most Wanted”

  1. Reader Views

    Reviewed by Angela Henley for Reader Views (7/09)

    I am a Social Worker by degree and have been involved with, victim of and read and seen many cases of severe abuse. This type of story or memoir is of great interest to me. “Chip” is unique in that he was a kidnapped victim, rather than the biological or step child of the abusers. In addition, the main abuser in the family was wanted by the F.B.I. for the murder of another child. Reading the book was a priority for me as I felt it would be “different,” “gripping,” and enlightening. These unique details enticed me to read the book.

    I was disappointed in the book. Chip was typical in the verbal abuse that goes on in many dysfunctional families. The verbal abuse and situations described in the book are low to moderate, not severe. This abuse is by no means acceptable and the incidents described are good indicators that more severe abuse is not only possible but probable. This book would make an excellent academic book to read before going into the field of Child and Family Protection, Social Work, Criminal Justice, etc.; but is not a book that shows the true reality of severe childhood abuse.

    While Chip did endure violence and verbal and physical abuse he quickly was able to break off the relationship, triumph and had people around him to assist and “love” him despite the baggage that all abused children and adults that were abused as children have. Schools, Social Workers, Courts, etc were all bypassed by this family and were not described in the book as “a way of life.” This is the case in many instances.

    The story of Chip in “The Butterfly Garden” is one worth reading for the lucky ones, the ones that haven’t seen or been involved with severe childhood abuse. The “gripping” stories are the ones in which we often don’t hear too much about, the stories of the children who are not getting “applause,” “plaques” and recognition for turning in America’s Most Wanted, but the stories of the silent, unrecognized and many times unable to tell their stories and too afraid to turn in America’s Most Evil.
    Rating: 4 / 5

  2. S. Mugaas

    This is an amazing book of courage and survival and hope for anyone who has been through a troubled childhood.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  3. Jeannie Ruesch

    THE BUTTERFLY GARDEN is a compelling, poignant memoir recalling the events and childhood that shaped Chip St. Clair into the adult he is today. My heart broke for the child he was and all he went through as an adult, in discovering his life was based on a world of lies. Yet through the difficult chapters (that often made me cry), this story is one of hope, of belief and of love. The love story between the author and his wife was the stuff romances are made of, and the author’s ability to turn his history into a positive force is amazing.

    From the moment I picked up this book to “skim” the first chapter, I was drawn into the story. The writing is fresh and immediate, and each page draws you further in. With such a difficult topic, you feel pain and sadness in every chapter…and yet, in the end, when you close the pages, the author has left you with a feeling of hope and the inspiration that no matter what the odds, people ARE in charge of their destiny.

    Highly recommended.

    Rating: 5 / 5

  4. Karen Zemek

    Chip grew up being abused and not knowing his parents were on the run. Chip didn’t find out until he was in college about the secrets his parents kept from him. He realized that they were both very dangerous people and he was fortunate to have survived into adulthood.

    This book shows the great influence a woman can have on a man and the importance of a good woman in a man’s life. Lisa helped Chip sort out his past and loved him for who he was, bringing out the best in him. Growing up, Chip found solace in poetry and art. Not until the end of the book does the reader find out the meaning of the title of the book. I agree with my husband when he says it’s a real page turner and full of surprises!

    Rating: 5 / 5

  5. Gerard F. Zemek

    I’m so glad I took the time to go through books and come across this one. An amazing true story about Chip St. Clair. This book is a real page turner that’s full of surprises. Chip is a remarkable person! I highly recommend this book.
    Rating: 5 / 5

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