Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Chocolate Money, by Ashley Prentice Norton

Bettina is the daughter of chocolate heiress Babs Ballentyne.  Life with Babs is unconventional, to say the least.  She is overtly sexual, and has sexually explicit conversations with her preteen daughter.  She pushes the lines of decorum and good taste.  She uses men as toys in the game of life.  So why, then, is Babs so shocked when, as a teenager, Bettina ends up doing the same exact thing?

I have read a lot of stories involving dysfunctional mother-daughter relationships, but this one took the cake.I have very mixed feelings about this book.  On the one hand, the story is certainly compelling, but on the other hand, a lot about this book truly disgusted me.  The sexual nature of this book is one of pure shock value, and really weakened the book overall.  While the sex itself was somewhat central to the story, the gross language describing it was unnecessary, particularly in the beginning of the book being narrated by 10-11 year old Bettina.  Hearing sexually explicit things (including the see you next Tuesday word) coming out of the mouth of a preteen in relation to her mother is gross and disturbing.  And frankly, I find that aspect of the story to be child abuse and reason enough for Babs to have lost custody of Bettina.  But I digress.

I actually liked the plotline surrounding Babs' affair and its effect on Bettina.  There were some twists thrown in that I was not expecting, and I think that is what kept me going with this book.  The part of the book where Bettina is a teenger was a bit tamer.

I was drawn to the Mommy Dearest comparison regarding this book.  This book does not measure up to Mommy Dearest.  Joan Crawford would have never acted as trashy as Babs Ballentyne.  Some people may really love this book and its salacious nature, but it really was not for me.

This book is from my personal library; all opinions are honest and original.



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