We were delighted when Working Mother blogger Lisa Rufle posted about the latest book craze to snag a film deal: Perhaps you've heard of it ;): E L James’s Fifty Shades trilogy, AKA erotica-lite, mommy porn and Twilight for grown-ups. We’re fifty shades of curious about what all the hype is about. So we asked you on Facebook to share with us why these novels—Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Free—are so un-put-down-able. Here’s what some of you had to say:
“I read all three! Loved them. Fell in love with the characters, the plot lines, everything. It’s really a great love story that develops over three books. And yep, at the end of the day after being a "power mom," I might occasionally fantasize about having a control freak (i.e. protective, attentive, caring) husband. My own husband is great, but no Christian Grey ;)” —Chantelle McCullum Custodio
“I loved reading about the emotional relationship between Christian and Anastasia more than the erotica (which was more erotica lite). I think, as a full time working mother who takes care of everything, the idea of having a Christen Grey is what kept me engrossed in the book and a bit envious of Ana. I would love a man to come along and say, "Don't worry, I'll take care of it all." Book 1 was good, Book 2 was my favorite; finished both in less than a week. Book 3 took a bit for me to get into, but wasn't as good as 2. Fun books to read. :)" —Mary Lambertson Deasy
“To be 22 again, young, naive, the world at your feet and falling in love for the first time…the way the story was told, you felt like Anastasia. No man is perfect, and Christian wasn't perfect either. However, the idea of a man taking control, protecting and taking care of his woman financially without a struggle is a break from the real world. Being swept off your feet by a Christian Grey is every woman's fantasy. When I read the trilogy, I wanted to know what was going to happen next!" —Diane Ostanek Krewer
Intrigued? In case you haven't yet dipped a toe into Fifty Shades, the books revolve around the characters of handsome tycoon Christian Grey and college student Anastasia Steele, who engage in a passionate, dominant-submissive relationship. Fans claim the novels have done wonders to reignite the fire in their marriages, and a lot of women have fessed up that it’s the first erotic literature they’ve openly discussed. Deeper themes have also come to light: In a recent Newsweek article, "Spanking Goes Mainstream,” Katie Roiphe discusses the fantasy of female submission at a moment when women are thriving in the workplace. Roiphe writes, "It may be that, for some, the more theatrical fantasies of sexual surrender offer a release, a vacation, an escape from the dreariness and hard work of equality." Is this trilogy the strong working mom's ultimate fantasy? Do you agree with Roiphe?
E L James (pseudonym for London-based TV executive Erika Leonard) initially wrote the series as online fan fiction inspired by Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga. Published in 2011 as an e-book, Fifty Shades quickly went to the New York Times e-book fiction bestseller list, then garnered a seven-figure deal from Vintage Books early in 2012. Next up: a film franchise under Universal Pictures and Focus Features.
Now the question is, who will play Mr. Grey?