by Chrysa Smith

Where to begin?

If you’ve read it, you know why all the fuss. It’s hot. It’s dark. It’s controversial. And I found it hard to put down. And so have millions of other women.

For me, the character of Christian Grey comes up in so many lives. There’s that guy. He’s charming. He’s charismatic. There’s chemistry. And you just have that lingering inner intuition that there’s something there that’s not going to be good for you. It may not be completely destructive. It may be challenging you to cross boundaries—comfort levels of ethical, moral, religious beliefs that you haven’t been challenged on before. And it makes you question yourself. At what price will you cross your line in the sand? Will it be for love? Lust? An experience of a lifetime? The fear of looking back in time and regretting something? Or it could be completely life-changing; causing you more tears than you ever thought possible, ending a marriage or requiring therapy on a regular basis.

For the first third of the book, it’s a romance novel. Boy—rich boy–handsome, experienced boy chases the inexperienced girl next door. For many women, especially I suspect, women who have been in long-term marriages/relationships, it brings back the thrill of the chase. Do you remember? Or maybe you’re lucky enough to have kept the flames stoked. But let’s face it, time, familiarity, problems, children, middle-age bulge all detract from the carefree, early dating days—when he wanted you but did not quite have you yet. And he spent money, and more importantly, time—time being wowed by you, mesmerized by you, and showering all sorts of attention upon you.

Christian Grey undoubtedly has a dark side—and one that nice girls don’t often read about–at least until now.  It’s not a hidden family or a prison record, but let’s just say, an interesting and perhaps dangerous sexual fetish. Does young Anastasia Steele, the innocent college-girl take a chance on him? Is she afraid to lose him if she doesn’t partake? Is there a dark side to her as well? Does she love and trust this guy completely? Or is she a fool? Another woman who will do anything–including being submissive, a toy, a temporary folly in order to be with the company of a handsome, rich man.

For us ladies ‘in the middle’, we are reminded of daughters, nieces and other young girls giving themselves away, adjusting just a tweak here, a twist there, eventually losing themselves for the sake of a suitor.  Ah, it’s the circle of life. Do we dare intervene and save a soul from an ensuing melt-down?Would she let us? Of course not. And so goes young, romantic love.

Well, lest you be one of the few who hasn’t picked it up yet, I won’t dare give it away. But let’s say that this book has it all—love, sex, lust, danger, coyness, playfulness, sadistic tendencies, crude language and behavior and messages about relationships that we can all relate to.

My Business Law teacher always said, “Everyone has a price. It’s just a matter of what and how much.” Ana’s price makes you keep turning the pages hoping to find out. Written by EL James, Fifty Shades of Grey is part of a trilogy—and can be found literally wherever women are found.

p.s.–I just picked up the second book today at Costco.