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The Chocolate Money Kindle Edition

3.4 out of 5 stars 175 customer reviews

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Length: 293 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A novel to make you laugh, cringe, and appreciate your mother." ---O, the Oprah Magazine

About the Author

Ashley Prentice Norton, the author of The Chocolate Money, is a graduate of Exeter, Georgetown, and the creative writing program at New York University.

Audie Award finalist Tavia Gilbert is a classical theater and public radio-trained actress who has earned AudioFile Earphones and Parents' Choice awards for her audiobook narrations. Tavia has narrated more than 250 multicast and single-voice audiobooks.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1705 KB
  • Print Length: 293 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0547840047
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (September 18, 2012)
  • Publication Date: September 18, 2012
  • Sold by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006R8PKMM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #261,170 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
So this is pretty much a book about two people; Babs Ballentyne and her daughter Bettina. Babs, an heiress, is the most inappropriate woman one could imagine raising a daughter. She's selfish, abusive to just about anyone and everyone she comes into contact with, and has no sense of what to sensor (unless of course censoring herself can benefit her somehow). As we're introduced to the duo, Bettina is about to turn eleven. Already she knows details about her mother that many women wouldn't share with their best friends or gynecologists. Being raised in such an inappropriate way has turned Bettina into a mess. She never seems to have enjoyed toys. Finds books for children of her age a bore. Analyzes people, art, herself. Fantasizes about men her mother is with. And most of all longs for love so badly that she'll take it or something that could lead to it anyway she can find it, even if it means being used - by her mother, by boys, by friends.

This is most definitely NOT a book for everyone. You should go into it knowing that, yes, it has a lot of material that people will find offensive -- from a child character being told of sexual acts in great detail, child abuse / neglect, underage drinking / sex, just general debauchery. The people in this book are a flat out mess. If you go into that knowing that and being fine with reading a book about such messed up characters, then this a good book, not perfect, but still good.

We follow Bettina from the time she is turning eleven until the time she is a grown woman of twenty-six. From being her mother's little sidekick accessory (when convenient) to just starting to really realize who she is out on her own. From not knowing her father is to knowing.
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2 Comments 37 of 39 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read a slightly sanitized excerpt of this novel in Town & Country magazine, and pre-ordered it on the 'zon. When it showed up on my Kindle carousel I tore into it immediately and kept reading 'till the battery died, then found it on my phone's kindle app and finished the last pages like someone was trying to take the book from me. So yes, it's a compelling novel, and if you like your poor little rich girl stories with a mean bite, this is a great quick read.
The author's characterization of the mother figure Babs is so brittle with gallows humor and menace, it puts momzillas like White Oleander and Joan Crawford in the shade. This is a take-no-prisoners portrait of maternal narcissism, which seems only fair when you read some of the brutality the poor little daughter-hostage, Bettina, endures. Author and Rockefeller heiress Ashley Pierce Norton has said in recent interviews that this is all 80% fiction, 20% fact; however, much has been made of the uncanny parallels between art and life, since her real Chicago socialite mom was a notorious party-thrower like Babs and did in fact send out nude family xmas cards one year, much like the ones Bab sends out w/her and Bettina in the altogether. Whatever the percentages, Norton seems to be slaying some small personal demons here, and with such gritty and witty prose, it's a hell of a read. I can already see Paltrow playing Babs in the movie version (crossed fingers!).

Sidebar: gritty and witty prose are one thing, twisted messed-up passages of sex and brutality is something else altogether. Norton's harrowing description of events in the book, while well-written and full of a strange pathos, are still more lurid than one can imagine, and some passages make Fifty Shades of Grey read like a '50s Dick and Jane primer (no pun intended); so if you have any curious minors about, set the ol' password on your Kindle while reading this one.
1 Comment 18 of 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Just like chocolate, this story offers numerous notes. Its splendid cover and catchy title are attention grabbing; neatly packaged and presented as if a box of fine chocolates. Sweet. While the quality of the writing isn't Italy's renowned Chauo or Amedei, it certainly is better than Hershey's or Russell Stover. Author Ashley Prentice Norton excels in giving distinct voices to the mother and daughter characters, Babs and Bettina (respectively). However, once readers meet them, they are as predictable as the 'maps' found in those drug store boxes of chocolates.

As the heiress to a chocolate company fortune, we are initially intrigued with Babs' lifestyle; meaningless and excessive. It can't be said that her parenting skills are lacking--they simply don't exist. And it's in this setting we meet her little girl, Bettina. The child's yearning for affection is pitiful. How could we feel anything but sympathy for this rich, unloved waif? This is a character to root for--or not.

Indulging in the first bite of chocolate is heavenly. But after the third piece, nuances blend and each loses its unique character. Unfortunately, the same applies to the lives of Babs and Bettina. While settings may change, they don't. We hope for a different ending but, who knows...?

If you disliked Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James, pass on reading The Chocolate Money. Auto-eroticism and S & M abound here. Innocence yields to pathos and what was, at first, appealing, becomes oppressively bitter and no longer sweet.
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