I am not normally one to write book reviews, particularly on non-business books, but this one stopped me in my tracks! Fifty Shades of Grey delves into parts of a woman’s mind that are not for the faint of heart. It goes into the bedroom too, which is what makes the book so addicting. Fifty Shades has been making the ladies’ book clubs blush and chatter with excitement. Some have said that this book represents what women really want, and are ordering women to
give it to their men to read. Personally, I don’t think men will get it. By “it”, I mean, they will look at the lead male character, Christian, as a typical bad boy with typical bad boy tendencies and oh yeah, he likes handcuffs too.
A brief plot overview:
Fifty Shades of Grey is about an innocent (sometimes annoyingly so) college age virgin, Anna and her 27 year old, emotionally damaged, lover Christian. The story takes us through the ups and downs of their relationship, and while not all that well written, clearly gives us some insights into how we communicate and interact in today’s world. We see emails as an intricate part of the development in their relationship. The communication between the two intensifies and gives the reader insight into the characters’ feelings that they don’t always show when with each other in person. I found this to be a particularly interesting commentary on how our society is shifting in how we communicate with each other, even in our most intimate relationships. Have you ever gotten into an argument via text? Most of us have, and at no time did either party feel the need to pick up the phone to finish the argument, it continued in whatever medium it was started in.
Let’s be clear, the sex scenes in the book are hot. There’s just no other way to describe it. There is nothing average here, Christian likes to dominate and he does. You think that you are going to hate Christian’s control freak side, but the character is developed into someone who you want to hug, slap, hug again, and definitively sleep with. The struggle Ana faces in relinquishing control to Christian will make most feminists cringe, but it is done in such a way that we can see how both characters are developing, growing and challenging themselves and their perception of relationships. Ana stays true to herself, in her desire to have a connection that goes beyond the bedroom, a connection that is touching and lasting. If sex is about control, Fifty Shades of Grey makes it a contract (literally).
Let’s face it, S&M is not something that is talked about in “polite” conversation. Most of you probably can’t see yourself reading a trashy novel that contains S&M sex scenes. The scenes were done in such a way that they were both arousing and yet, made one curious. There is no doubt in my mind that handcuff purchases are going to increase over the next month or so. This is a book of guilty pleasures. Women, who have fought for empowerment and equality for so long, finally get to admit that (sometimes) they just want to be grabbed, taken and completely let go of being in control.
Women make a hundred decisions on any given day. Whether it be something as benign as family dinner or who’s picking up the kids, to CEO level businesses calls. The reality is, sometimes, we just want someone else to take over and not have to think. The one thing that Fifty Shades of Grey does very well is challenge the boundaries of relationships. What is acceptable and normal to one person, may not be to another. The question really becomes, can the two find equal footing or not. Each of the main characters has their buttons pushed, and that’s what really makes the story fun. It’s like taking an inside peek into your neighbors world without them knowing it. It’s voyeuristic, it’s exciting and reminds us that you really have no idea what goes on behind closed doors, even if they are your best friends.
For the kindle lovers:
- Fifty Shades of Grey spices up sales of Thomas Hardy’s Tess(guardian.co.uk)
- 50 Shades of Grey – Christian Grey Cast!(lilywight.com)