A funny thing happened when my book went live on amazon.com. Just below the reviews of “Kat Tales: Stories of a house…broken”, there were advertisements for other titles that readers might enjoy.
Customers who selected “Kat Tales” also bought:
Kat’s Tale: Undying Love
Stories of the Night
That’s right. My book — a collection of humorous essays about animals — was electronically (and wrongfully) connected to the adult section of fiction. As if that’s not enough, amazon.com abbreviates shipping confirmation emails to alert customers that their orders have been fulfilled.
“Kat Tales…Stories of a Ho” has shipped.
No wonder it’s selling so well.
But what’s flying off store shelves isn’t the debut work of Katy Brown. It’s Fifty Shades of Grey — the trilogy series — considered by women to be the greatest thing since Spanx. Or is that…spanks? Even Dr. Mehmet Oz has tagged the book as the awakening of the dormant woman.
If you’re unfamiliar with the story (and you’d have to be living under a rock with me if you are), the book description reads:
When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.
Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.
The British author, E. L. James, is a TV executive, wife and mother of two. Her book is #1 on the fiction and nonfiction list, in addition to the contemporary romance chart. Aside from it being a best-selling novel, experts are weighing in on how a sexual imagination can jump-start relationships that have been cooled off by parenting. In fact, what used to be called “Chick Lit” is now being called “Mommy Porn”.
Confession? I couldn’t finish the book.
I’m in the minority of the population who disliked the story from the very beginning. I’ve been told that I’m reading too much into it, thinking about it too hard, and over-analyzing the story line. I’m not reading for enjoyment! But when a rather inexperienced college girl who studies classic literature meets a young billionaire who studies physical and emotional acts of dominance, I start to panic. I have two daughters. I couldn’t stop thinking about my own girls becoming obsessed — controlled — by mysterious men. All I could related it to was the brief yet tragic relationship between Natalee Holloway and Joran van der Sloot.
Friends tell me that I have to see what’s truly behind the doors of the Red Room of Pain: a sincere act of learning how to give your heart to someone. But I still couldn’t get beyond the whips and chains.
There seems to be a lot of books out today geared toward the young adult and focused on forbidden “love”. The Twilight series is of the same breed of book: Impressionable girls risking everything for “boys” who are deeply troubled, therefore abusive; insecure girls putting themselves in extreme danger to prove they’ll do anything to keep the affections of tormented men. As some critics point out, violence of all levels has become romanticized. Critics on the other side of the bed argue that it’s just a book — it’s fake.
As for the rest of the moms in the world, women are going back to school to learn a new trade. Most copies of Fifty Shades of Grey are sold to females over the age of 30 who are married with children. It’s also being heralded as the reason book clubs are making a comeback.
But this mom who’s over 30, married and caring for children, isn’t drinking the Kool-Aid…even if it is a rainbow of fun. I’ll stick with ice water.