Crazy As Chocolate
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Crazy As Chocolate

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3.27 of 5 stars 3.27  ·  rating details  ·  351 ratings  ·  53 reviews
When Isabel's mother turned forty-one, she locked herself in the garage and sat in a Dodge Dart with the engine running. Now, Isabel is turning forty-one, and her father, sister, and seven-year-old niece are flying in to Colorado to help her get through the day-even though she never asked for help. In fact, her family may be the ones who need help. And as Izzy is flooded w...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published September 2nd 2003 by Berkley Trade (first published 2002)
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Kim
I was loving this book – and then lost it before i finished it. It’s like chick lit with a brain. Or maybe if it was less intelligent it would be chick lit. Yes, that’s probably fairer. Woman literature about real woman. Not a lot of candy floss and pink glitter – just a very readable, very real story.

The story is about a woman, Izzy, reaching her 42nd birthday. The relevance of this to her and her family is that is the birthday upon which her crazy mother had committed suicide.
The narrative mov...more
LaDawn
With my mind unable to focus on anything much, I have resorted to a hand me down collection of chick lit that I've picked up over the years and this book was in that pile based on its cover and title. The cover has a photograph of two feet dangling out over a pond. This image has abosolutely no relevance to the story. And the tile of the book has even less relevance to the story. And this most certainly shouldn't have been in the easy to read pile.

A story about two sisters and their father deali...more
Michelle
I am wondering how a book like this could be written with out first hand knowledge. I am wondering if Elisabeth Hyde put this under a "fiction" heading because she didn't want it under a "biography" heading.

At first i didn't like the bouncing back and forth between the present and the past,because the past fluctuated between the distant past and the recent past. But I got over it.

I was so into this book that I didn't hear people talking to me until they tapped me on the shoulder to get my atten...more
Janice Sadler
I picked this novel up from a car boot sale for the throwaway price of twenty pence. I bought such a stack of books, it might even have been free; it was cold and drizzling with rain and the stall holder couldn't wait to go home. Wow! Never have I had such a bargain!

Joking aside, 'Crazy as Chocolate' is a wonderful heart-wrenching story of two sisters who have to live out their adult lives in the knowledge that their mother committed suicide on her 41st birthday.

This is the first book I've ever...more
Maggie
This was my reading group book for March.

Not the type of book I would have bought or picked out at the library, but I suppose that's the idea of a reading group, to introduce us to books we would have otherwise passed on.

It's a story of a troubled childhood and living with a mother who is mentally unstable.

I find it hard to give an outline of the story without giving it all away, to me about half way through it stopped reading like a story and started to read like an autobiography. It certainly...more
Kim
This is largely a tale of the relationship between a mother and her two daughters. As Izzy approaches her 41st birthday (an age her mother did not get beyond), she again begins to question whether she was to blame for her mother's early death. Her and Ellie's childhood was punctuated with their mother's manic episodes and Ellie (two years older than Izzy) appears to exhibit similar tendencies at times. As her father and elder sister travel to join her to celebrate her birthday, Izzy begins to re...more
Kellyh
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Debbie
1st read by this author which I really enjoyed and will look for others by her. While this one bounces around quite a bit, between Izzy and Elly's childhood and adult lives and their struggles to finally come to grips with the world they all grew up with in dealing and coming to understand their mom's struggles with her mental illness.

Izzy will soon be 41...and realizes with sadness that she will now be older than her mother ever was. She and her husband are struggling with their own sadness of...more
Rachel
Currently reading, only a few chapters in, but it's reminding me strongly of In Her Shoes the film based on Jennifer Weiner's book.

Finished. Do not read if you're feeling a bit fragile, or low. There are few light moments in this book!
June
I was given this book by someone I met on holiday, she had just finished reading it. I must admit, it was a harder read than I was expecting, and not really ideal sun-lounger material ;-)

Mental illness is a sensitive subject to me and so I found the story quite hard to read, in fact I almost gave up a few times. However, I was determined to finish it the day I started it (it isn't a long book) and I managed it. It got better as it went on but I can't say I liked it, I appreciated it put some th...more
Catherine
I cannot bear to finish this book. It is just TOO BORING.

It doesn't have any interesting characters. The protagonist seems pressed out of a cookie-cutter. The only thing to distinguish her in any way is the fact that she can't have children which is a pretty boring distinguishing feature.

It has an almost hilariously one-dimensional impression of mental illness. It doesn't actually seem to have any plot at all. I got to 4/5 of the way through and apparently this is where the plot starts, 4/5 of...more
Halina J J


This book reminded me a lot of a (far poorer) Margaret Atwood or Sylvia Plath. I guess when the topic is a mental illness in a woman that ends in suicide the Plath comparison isn't too far away, but still. Hyde does a good job with drawing the characters, their emotions, their thought processes and their complexities with few words, which is admirable. Unfortunately it did just feel all the way through as though I were reading something half-finished, nearly there, that was maybe something else...more
Bree
As I read this book and looked into the past of the main character, Izzy, I felt really sorry for her having to deal with a crazy mom. It just made me sad to see how she was confused by her mother's actions and haunted by her suicide as she got older. Her older sister, Ellie, I wanted to slap (in her older years, not while she was being raised by a crazy mother). It was just all-around sad what happened to these girls growing up, and reading how it affected them later on. A quick read, one that...more
Fatatat
I nice heart warming book despite the subject matter of a mother with depression. A touching book mostly because it is about the children who have survived their mother killing herself and is about life moving on. The writting style is very easy to read and deffiantly has it's moments of humour whihc I liked. The only problem being that I've read this story before. In Alice Sebolds Almost moon. In Susan Lewis' autobiography in The latest Tory Hayden and in Saving Francecha by marlena marchetta....more
Tom
Isabella's mother committed suicide on her 41st birthday, and now Isabella is about to have her 41st birthday. Her father, sister and niece come for the weekend, and memories and family tensions ensue. Surprisingly for the genre, perhaps, Isabella's husband and father are the two characters that seem to have it together.

The book was given to me by a nice woman in a writing class, and I felt obligated to read it. It isn't what I would have chosen, but but the book wasn't a bad way to pass a few h...more
Joanne
A good read very difficult to put down
Rebecca Haslam
I got into this book pretty quick, mostly due to the subject matters; family and mental illness, both of which are hugely important to me and are issues I have had my own issues with. I won't say much regarding the plot but I will say that this book made me think about the petty arguements I've been a part of, things I've said that I didn't mean, and made me think about consequences - even if you think you don't hurt or affect someone by what you say or do - chances are, you do.
Alice
A lot of reminiscing of childhood events surrounding a mother of two sisters who died when they were in their early teens. I felt that there was perhaps too much looking back making the story of the present a bit too weak. However, it did achieve the result of thinking about how your adult life and your relationship with your own children is shaped by your parents and your relationship with them when a child yourself. Overall I enjoyed the book.
Tracey
Isabel is approaching her 41st birthday; the age at which her mother who suffered from manic mental illness took her life. She reflects on the highs and lows of her childhood which were extreem and unusual. Her father and sister (also manic) come to celebrate over her birthday weekend and attempt to move past the craziness to little avail. It is an emotional rollercoaster ride that take you along and leaves you exhausted.
Hazel McHaffie
This one was given to me to read without comment. Ellie and Isabel adored their mother who was quite batty but colourful and unpredictable. But their mother commits suicide at the age of forty one. The girls both marry and live very different lives but for both the legacy of the past casts along shadow. A tale of maternal love and psychiatric illness; family bonds that triumph inspite of as much as because of what mothers do.
Erica
Extremely sad subject matter, however, extremely well-written! I could hardly put it down. Hyde is such an amazing author... her writing style is one of my favorites. She explores mental illness of a woman through the eyes of her young daughter, which was a unique approach, even though heart wrenching at times. She interwove that story with current events in the grown daughter's life. I highly recommend this book.
Amanda
Synopsis:
A woman whose mother killed herself on her 41st birthday, reaches 41 herself. The family get together and there are old stories and issues as an undercurrent.

Good read. Very interesting and not maudlin. It explored how the children (now adults) viewed, and now view, their mother and what she did and said, and how those views changed as they got older and understood more.
Lucinda
Enjoyed this thoughtful read about a difficult yet eventful and wonderful childhood spent with a bipolar mother and almost too forgiving father. Our book club reckoned that Hyde must have some personal experience of living withmmentl illness but could find no mention of this in the published biographies of the author. Well written with a lignt touch, and an upbeat ending.
Karen
A non-crazy person worries that her mum's craziness will force itself onto her genetically. An interesting premise, and I usually quite lke books that don't really have a story as such, just focus on people's relationships and conversations. But the sister has got to be one of the most abrasive, irritating characters I've ever read. So, not keen.
Emma Mcdougall
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it's dark and mental illness and it's effects on others can be confronting, but it's real, honest and eminently readable.
Rebecca Wheeldon
A difficult book to get into but once you can it is a good read. Based around a woman approaching her 41st birthday, a day on which her own mother killed herself, with dread wondering if she was the same and at the same time trying to cope with childlessness and a sister who seems as crazy as their mother.
Fluffychick
Enjoyed the back story of two girls and their mother...the lively images of her bizarre behaviour and their growing disenchantment as they mature with her quirks. However, I found the grown up sisters less interesting and couldn't sympathise with Ellie. Mixed feelings about this one.
Windy
I found the book easy to read and quite compelling in that I wanted to know what happened to the characters, however I felt the story was too shallow for the subject matter (mental illness) and overall I found the book unsatisfying.
Juliet
My testament to a really good novel : if I've managed to read it all in one go and I'm now desperate to read everything written by the author.

Somehow, she makes dysfunctional families sound like you want to have one.
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