travel with me from SAHM to working mum….
As previously mentioned, my book group has naively chosen to read 50 Shades of Grey by E L James. I had read an article where she asserted that the Twilight saga by Stephenie Meyer had been the inspiration behind her novel which has been an e-book phenomenon. These are my under-considered conclusions:
1. Both female heroines are warned off by the male heroes early in the novel.
2. Both are magnetically drawn to each other in spite of their better judgements.
3. The leading girls are beautiful but gawky and lack self-esteem with regard to the opposite sex.
4. They are virgins but their partners are not. Bella holds out longer than Ana, mainly due to Edward’s scruples.
5. The male protagonist has a perfect, loving, welcoming family, with the exception of Ros Cullen. Both are fabulously wealthy.
6. The female protagonist has a warm but estranged father figure (thereby unconsciously seeking to fill a need?).
7. She also has a mother who lives a distance away having recently remarried.
8. There is mild competition from an immature male. (Jacob only becomes a serious love interest in New Moon).
9. The girls drive old or quirky cars.
10. Both novels are based on other well-known stories. Twilight is loosely based on Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
Obviously, the differences between these novels are extremely pronounced. I would never recommend that anyone read 50 Shades of Grey because they enjoyed Twilight. It is aimed at the ‘bored housewife’ market and is definitely not the chaste romantic teen fiction that is Twilight. Mormon Stephenie must be thrilled that her work has spawned an S&M bondage fantasy(BDSM). It’s not as bad as I feared after the first few chapters and the writing improves a little, but there is an over-use of Grey’s gray eyes which grates well before the end (I still have a few % to go – reading it on kindle!). Thankfully, the heroine of James’ tale has a stronger personality than the lethargic, love-sick Bella, and challenges and negotiates with the male to achieve a more balanced relationship. Though at times I did wonder when or whether this would emerge. If you’re over 30 and not easily shocked then read it – everyone else is…