Bettina Ballentyne is a chocolate heiress only by name; it is her glamorous and narcissistic mother, Babs, who lives up to the billing and plays by no one’s rules. Navigating a simultaneously treacherous and alluring landscape of wealth, sex, and decadence—first in her privileged childhood in Chicago and later at a top-tier east coast boarding school—Bettina must figure out how to reconcile her yearning for maternal affection with her mother’s take-no-prisoners-style parenting.
Ashley Prentice Norton’s unflinching eye and acerbic wit capture Bettina’s coming of age with the perfect mixture of tragic and comic. Simultaneously sassy, deeply twisted, and uproariously funny, the novel’s sharp and sparkly humor will have you laughing during its darkest moments. A mesmerizing portrayal of the corrosive effects of an American fortune, The Chocolate Money is a shocking and intensely readable debut.
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A precocious 10-year-old when we meet her, Bettinaâs a careful student of her mother, following her rules (Babs ârefuses to have a fat daughter,â so Bettina never eats the family chocolate), noting her etiquette reminders (a man who canât afford to buy his mistress really good jewels shou...Jul 09 2012 | Read Full Review of The Chocolate Money
Both Babs and Bettina have very specific voices.Jan 02 2013 | Read Full Review of The Chocolate Money
In no way did I expect The Chocolate Money to pull me in the way it did, but Bettina’s damaged goods mentality had me hoping she’d eventually snap out of it, tell her mother to go fuck herself, and set up a real life of her own.Sep 24 2012 | Read Full Review of The Chocolate Money
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