Thursday 4 July 2013

The Chocolate Money by Ashley Prentice Norton

An innocent little girl

A phenomenal fortune

A mother like no other

Ten-year old Bettina and her mother, Babs, are heiresses to one of America's biggest fortunes. But Bettina’s whole life is overshadowed by that of her beautiful, hedonistic mother, the glamorous but domineering Babs.

At fifteen, Bettina escapes to New England and an exclusive, preppy boarding school called Cardiss, where she hopes she can finally start to figure out who she really is. But while she thinks that fitting in with the other students represents her best chance of surviving the cliques and politics of Cardiss, soon she’s making choices that show that Babs' maternal shadow still looms long over her. Can Bettina ever break free to forge her own identity - or is she simply doomed to being her mother's daughter forever?

This novel was definitely like nothing that I have read before and I was extremely dubious when I first started reading it but ending up loving it!

Written in the view of ten year old Bettina, this novel is shocking from the start! Please bear in mind that it is not for the faint hearted among you! It contains some disturbing sex scenes; I was particularly disturbed by pages 46 and 47 and I never ever want to hear the word smash again!  There is also some abuse and some possibly upsetting images that some readers will not like. 

Babs, Bettina’s Mother is definitely not Mother material! A chocolate heiress who neglects Bettina on a regular basis, shows no motherly affection towards her whatsoever. She even tells Bettina intimate things that if my Mum told me I don’t think I would be able to look her in the eye again! She is an extremely dislikeable character that you definitely will not warm to! 

When Bettina turns 15 she goes to an elitist boarding school away from her Mother’s influence. But here we find out just the amount of damage Babs has done as we see Bettina try to fit in with the boys and girls at the school. I sincerely hope that 15 year olds are much more innocent that, or maybe I am just being incredibly na├»ve!

I did actually feel very sorry for Bettina, she was a great character and if she had been brought up differently I doubt she would have turned out the way she did, because despite Bab’s strong influence, she did actually have morals. I think as well that although Babs was a horrible person, I think she had something expected of her and the incredible amount of money she has must have had something to do with it.

This is definitely an alarming read and I know a lot of people will not like this novel, but it honestly gripped me the whole way through. I thought the author was incredibly brave to write this novel as it sure is not something I would like to write., but I admire her for going with it. It was certainly different and I think that whether people love it or hate, you will not be able to put it down.

The Chocolate Money is out now!


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