We had quite a large group turn out for Brunch Book Club this month, with the majority of us having just left Megan Crewe’s book launch for Earth & Sky and ventured around the neighbourhood for somewhere we could have a 4pm “brunner” (brunch/dinner). Finding a small restaurant that was still open – and even serving brunch still – we ended up splitting up the group to those of us who read this month’s book… which ended up being 3 out of 7 of us. 🙂 So Jenn, Kate and I sat down to a great discussion on The Chocolate Money. As with our usual wrap-up book club discussions, SPOILERS AHEAD. Consider yourself warned.
Right off the bat, I definitely realized I probably enjoyed the book more than the other two. Not that I overly loved it in particular, but I guess I found it more entertaining than Jenn and Kate did. We felt the main character, Bettina, to be incredibly unlikable. There was not many redeeming qualities about her and there wasn’t any growth or learning from any of the characters. I felt the story with Bettina and her mom, Babs, to end rather abruptly – literally in the sense that she gets killed by a car. … which is oddly basically the same way that Babs’ lover, Mack, is killed early on. It’s like that’s the method with which the author chooses to force a turning point in the story and that’s how it’s done. Both deaths via a car.
And to that note, we were all frustrated that even at the point where Bettina “conveniently” overhears Babs’ phone conversation (hmm.. a little more “show” and a lot less obvious “tell” please) and she rips up the matchbooks… you’d THINK that’s where there’s a turning point in their mother/daughter relationship. Maybe some growth in these characters and they address things head on. But nope. Let’s just kill one of them off instead.
The identity of Bettina’s father actually did catch me by surprise, but Kate & Jenn totally saw it coming from a mile away. I was actually thinking it was Mack and it would have made Bettina’s “relationship” with the son even more twisted and bizarre. Overall, it definitely wasn’t one of our favourites. I think some of us may not have finished the book if it were not for it being a Brunch Book Club read.
Will you be joining us for our November read of Emily M. Danforth’s The Miseducation of Cameron Post?