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The Butterfly Garden

Surviving Childhood on the Run with One of America's Most Wanted

Published by Health Communications Inc EB
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

There is for all of us a profound Moment of Truth that lies in wait—a moment that transfixes our attention and forces us to confront the essential question in life: Who am I?

For Chip St. Clair that moment came when he learned that the man he called “Dad” was an impostor—a child killer who had been on the run for nearly three decades.

After turning his father in on a cold January night in 1998, St. Clair embarked on a quest for his true identity, a journey that began when he opened a nondescript black trunk: Inside he found his birth certificate—typed over and forged. His “date of birth”? The same day his father had killed a child five years earlier. Along with that, more “answers” that spawned more questions: photographs of young children he didn’t know; locks of hair; a jewelry box full of baby teeth; and records of tens of thousands of dollars in loans taken out by his parents in his name. While forensic tests and DNA proved the answer to the most important question—was he the biological son of a convicted child killer?—the rest of the mysteries may never be solved.

What St. Clair discovered as he tried to unravel the swath of lies his “parents” had woven across at least seven states is something that all of us can learn from: Oftentimes the answers we seek are within us and the only path to fulfillment is to make peace with the unknown.
His eventual epiphany, which took place in a butterfly garden, freed him to leave his haunted past behind and to construct a future full of light and hope. Most important, he learned that our fate, our path in life, is not determined by demons of the past or by DNA, but the power of our own free will and what we hold in our hearts.

"The Butterfly Garden delivers a bold and powerful story of tragedy and triumph. This book gives one the courage to look within, and provides everlasting hope in the human spirit. St. Clair's work inspires and empowers." -- Dave Pelzer, 2005 National Jefferson Award Recipient and author of A Child Called "It"

"The Butterfly Garden is not to be missed."Detroit Free Press  

A work of art that transcends any memoir that I have ever read. This is a book that will never be forgotten.Marc Klaas, child advocate and founder, KlaasKids Foundation