I did not want to read Fifty Shades of Grey. My best friend had read it and didn't like it. Plus, during my career, I spent twelve years investigating cases of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of elderly adults and adults with disabilities. I came away from that with a genuine dislike for human predators, especially sexual predators. Yes, some of the cases involved sexual abuse.
But one of my author friends raved about the book and told me I should read the trilogy. She worked on me for awhile and finally convinced me. So I bought the electronic versions, downloaded them to my e-reader and started reading.
I liked Anastasia Steele (Ana), the heroine, she was an interesting, well-drawn character. Christian Grey was also well-drawn, but I didn't like him. He set off my predator radar. I wanted to investigate him and have him prosecuted in my outraged mind. After all, Ana didn't really know what she was getting into...but as the story progressed I began to see him differently. At the end of Fifty Shades of Grey (the 1st book in the series), I wanted to go on to the 2nd book - Fifty Shades Darker.
It moved the tale farther as the relationship deepened into a love story. It was darker than the previous book and I don't mean sexually. There were new conflicts, new enemies to their relationship. Ana grew to understand Christian better, and he changed his behavior for her. When I finished Darker, I just kept reading, moving on to Fifty Shades Freed. Oh, the joys of an e-reader!
My author friend who recommended the series to me says Fifty Shades Freed is her favorite. It does bring all the plot threads together to culminate in a most satisfying and happy ending. There are conflicts to be overcome as well as lethal danger. But in the end, all is well. And best of all, Christian has overcome incredible abuse from his early years. He has traveled through hell and is able to love and accept love.
The books are filled with vivid secondary characters, beautiful places, expensive cars, and glorious clothes. All of it written in exquisite detail. You walk in the world of fabulous wealth. Nice place to visit, except maybe the red room...
There is an epilogue which is a flashback to the time Christian was a small child. It will make you cry at the little wounded spirit, who still valiantly attempts to find joy in the wonder to be found in childhood. It will make you understand how Christian became so wounded and how his love for Ana has helped him to heal. I don't know how she understands the results of abuse so well, but Ms. James certainly knows how to write about it.
Honestly, I don't know which is my favorite book in the series, Darker or Freed. They are each an important piece of Christian's journey with Ana.
This is an X rated series in which Bondage, Dominance, and Sado-Masochism (BDSM) plays an important role. Some of it is hard going through, at least it was for me with my protector's mind set.
But the series is excellent, well worth the read.
Wonderful job, Ms. James. You made me overcome my initial reluctance with a wonderful love story, one of the best I've read in a while.
As for my best friend, I've already advised her to read the rest of the series...
I wonder, will they put ALL the scenes in the movie? It will be the hottest ticket in town...
Relax and enjoy our wonderful pop culture. After the week we've had in our country, we all deserve to do something fun.
Until next time...