It was more than a month ago when I was asked the question:
“Sis, have you read Fifty Shades of Grey as yet?”
The look on her face suggested that I had just told her that the world is flat!
After getting a brief description of the book, it dawned on me that I had indeed heard about the books prior to this question. I recalled that I had seen a few Facebook comments.
One such comment stated:
I couldn’t help but to ask sis:
“So what’s all the hype about?”
“Apparently some dominatrix sex and all that jazz.”
So with a less than enthusiastic heart and armed with my copy of the three books, I set out to reading to ascertain for myself what all this hype was about.
Progress was slow at first. One day I realised that I just could not stop turning the pages. By the end of book one (Fifty Shades of Grey), I was literally in tears. There is a lot in the books that I identified with.
For me, Fifty Shades is not about erotic scenes featuring elements of sexual practices involving bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, and sadism/masochism (BDSM).
Don’t get me wrong, BDSM is certainly a reoccurring theme among the books. However, from what I read, the books are about what each of us is searching for – love.
It is a love story between Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. Two persons coming to a relationship with their own baggage (yes Ana has some baggage too) and their list of expectations. In this relationship, they try to define and discover their own definition of normal. As we all know, what is ‘normal’ for you in your relationship is not necessarily ‘normal’ for me in mine.
The two main characters might have been Ana and Christian, but can I just say that my favourite two characters were Ana’s subconscious and her inner goddess – those two are hilarious.
In books two and three, we witness the deepening of the relationship between Ana and Christian.
To think all this started as a fan fiction to the Twilight Trilogy. I read online that critical reception of Fifty Shades have been mixed to negative, with most reviews commenting on the poor literary quality.
However, E.L. James must have gotten it right given that millions of copies of the books have been sold worldwide. Amazon UK announced that they sold more copies of Fifty Shades of Grey than it had the entire Harry Potter series combined. Not bad Mrs. James for your “poor literary work.”
In parting, I’ll leave you with these thought questions:
- Does this happily ever after that we read about exist in reality?
- If no, why not?
- If yes, what can we do to preserve this in our own relationships?
- Is there anything that we can we learn from Mr Grey and Ms Steele about relationships?
Relationships and people evolve, let us pray and hope we evolve together – sometimes we do, sometimes we don’t.