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Jealous Haters Book Club: The Mister chapter seven or, “You can hear the theme music from here.”

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We have officially reached the part of recapping where I’m slightly behind. I’m trying to do a post a day so these get finished before I go into my annual week of seclusion on the Keweenaw Peninsula to write Neil and Sophie and El-Mudad’s next book. But I’m also in the middle of intense rehearsals for War Paint at the Kalamazoo Civic Theater (if anyone is going to use that info to find me and murder me, please do so after the final performance, but before strike) and a pretty intense running program to get in shape for the Mackinac 8 Mile.

Why yes, I am in full, 100% denial of time and my physical disabilities.

Anyway, if I miss a day or two in the next two weeks, fear not! I haven’t given up. I might just be in a coma.

Quick note: I’ve made hybrids of the characters’ names with the names of characters from Poldark in many cases. It never occurred to me that someone might read these out of order, but I’ve actually had a few people mention the names this week and I wanted to clear that up.

Also, CW: we’re gonna talk about rape and rape trauma response.

Before we begin, we need to set the mood for the opening description with a little music. Ah, this should work…

 

Now you’re ready.

It’s a cold and gloomy Tuesday afternoon. Exhausted, I lean against the chimney stack of the old tin mine and stare out toward the sea. The sky is dark and ominous, and a bitter Cornish wind slices through me. A storm is brewing, and the sea rages and crashes against the cliffs beneath, the sound booming and echoing through the ruined building. The first freezing spots of sleet froom the coming storm splatters my face.

Moss goes on to think about his childhood in the Cornish countryside playing with Kit and Maryanne. His visit to Cornwall hasn’t been all memories and brooding Poldarkly on the cliffs. He’s also learned to trust Oliver as a business manager (so, I guess he’s not a Warleggan, after all) and the estates are doing well. He’s peopled out, though, from meeting all the staff who work to keep the estates running.

Then there’s more about his idyllic Cornish childhood from the eighteen god blessed hundreds:

I gaze at the path that leads down to the sea and think of Kit and me as two young boys racing to the soft, sandy beach below. Kit always won…always. But then he was four years older than me. And then in late August, armed with bowls and buckets and anything else that would hold them, we three children would pick blackberries from brambles that lined the path, and our cook, Jessie, would make blackberry-and-apple crumble for supper, Kit’s favorite.

Kit. Kit. Kit.

Uh-oh. Thrice Kit.

Why race through the icy lanes on a freezing night?

Why? Why? Why?

And then Kit’s Irish Setters come bounding up and Moss thinks about how they’re not good gundogs and I think about where the fuck you find a gun-shy Irish Setter, especially if you’re as into game shooting as Kit apparently was.

I want to be back in London.

I want to be back near her.

My thoughts keep returning to my sweet daily, with her dark eyes, her beautiful face, and her extraordinary musical talent.

But not her personality, because they’ve yet to have any one-on-one conversation that wasn’t as employer and subordinate.

We jump into Demelssia’s POV, where she finds that The Mister is back early. First, we have to go through the endless repetition of arrival. The alarm is off. She’s happy about it. She takes off her boots. She goes to the laundry room (and it’s referred to as the laundry room several times in the book, I know some of you said that was an American term, but now I’m just confused as to why if there’s a laundry room, she was ironing in the scullery) and changes into her work clothes, etc. Every. Single Time. we have to read this same process over and over. Do they pay E.L. James by the word or something?

Anyway, she goes to dust and finds:

The Mister is here. Propped up on the L-shaped couch. Eyes closed, lips parted, hair mussed and standing on end, he’s fast asleep. He is fully dressed and still wearing his overcoat, though it’s open, revealing his sweater and jeans. His filthy boots are planted firmly on the rug. In the white light that swirls through the glass wall, Alessia spies the tell-tale trail of dried mud all the way back to the door.

How did she not notice this when she came in? I guess there’s a separate service entrance? But it’s never mentioned. And I’m sorry, but he tracked mud into the house and onto his rug? Who does that? Who does that? Ugh, this dude is filthy. Where did he get the mud from? Did he walk here from Cornwall?

She stares at him, enthralled, and moves closer, drinking him in. His face is relaxed but a little pale, his jaw is rough with stubble, and his full lips quiver with each breath. He looks younger and not quite as unattainable as he sleeps. If she dared, she could reach down and stroke the stubble on his cheek.

She’s looming over him, staring, and then he wakes up.

“There you are,” he mumbles, and his sleepy smile galvanizes her into action. She thinks he wants help to come to his feet, so she steps forward and takes his hand. All at once he tugs her down onto the sofa, kissing her quickly and curling his arm around her so that she’s resting on top of him, her head on his chest. He mutters something unintelligible, and she realizes he must still be asleep. “I missed you,” he murmurs, and his hand grazes her waist, then rests on her hip, holding her to him.

Is he asleep?

She lies paralyzed on top of him, her legs between his, her heart beating an insane rhythm, one hand still clutching the window-cleaning fluid and the cloth.

Now, here’s where I kind of held my breath, like, okay, she’s a trafficking survivor, we know she has been kidnapped, we know she’s afraid of men, this better not be played off as a cute scene.

She lies stiff and unyeilding on top of him, terrified and fascinated at the same time. But what if…? What if he…? All manner of horrible scenarios suddenly run through her mind and she closes her eyes to bring her anxiety under control.

So far, so good, right? She’s having a panicked reaction to her male employer grabbing her and pulling her into an intimate position.

Isn’t this what she wants? What she has been longing for in her dreams? What she secretly desires in her private moments?

Aaaaand bam. There it is. From “what if he rapes me?” to “wouldn’t that be okay since it’s what I want?”

Here’s the thing. I don’t believe that James writes stuff like this and thinks to herself, ah, I’ll make it sound like the heroine thinks about wanting to be raped. I think what happens is that she knows what she wants to put in a scene, but she doesn’t see the holes she’s leaving on the page. All she had to do to make it not sound like her heroine is thinking it would be okay to be raped because the dude is hot would have been to simply have Demelssia think something along the lines of how she feels she can trust him never to hurt her or that she’s shocked that she’s not as afraid of him as she would be of someone else, then maybe a thought about what she would do if he tried to make a move on her consensually. Something to reassure the reader and put distance between her wondering if he’s going to rape her and thinking, well, wouldn’t I like it? James is clearly a writer who reads what’s in her head and not what she’s written on the page. Everyone does that, to an extent, but it’s an editor’s job to catch it. If there were any editorial control, this probably wouldn’t have been an issue, but the reins are clearly off.

What makes it worse is that, without any thought as to why she feels comfortable or safe doing so, she continues to lay in his arms, captivated by a glimpse of his chest hair and his “familiar scent”, and kisses his skin. Words like, “thrilling” and “provocative,” and “delights” are all used to describe the feelings of this woman who only a page ago fleetingly worried that she might be raped. Considering she’s in a situation where she absolutely could be raped, that she’s already wary of men as a result of her kidnapping, there just needs to be more conflict here for it to be believable.

She wakes him up so he’ll let her go:

“Shit!” He sits up and gapes at her in utter dismay as she scrambles off him. But before she can run, he grabs her hand.

“Alessia!”

“No!” she shouts.

And he lets go immediately.

So, again, there’s some reaction here, some acknowledgment of her past trauma. He apologizes for his actions while asleep, and she keeps a distance between them. We’re whiplashing back and forth between, ooh, this is so sexy and romantic and aw, she’s so traumatized, but we’re touching more on on the sexy than the trauma.

Moss tells her he’s been driving all night and apologizes, too, for tracking in the mud. Instead of being annoyed that she’s going to have to clean mud out of a rug, Demelssia thinks about how he gave her that umbrella and helped her with her coat. So, she kneels down and takes off his muddy boots for him.

“You sleep now,” she says, and grasping his boots in one hand, she holds out the other to help him up.

He glances from her eyes to her fingers, his hesitation unmistakable. After a beat, he takes her hand, and she hauls him off the sofa. Gently she leads him down the hallway and into his bedroom. There she releases him, draws back the duvet from his bed, and points. “You sleep,” she says, and walks around him to the door.

Then she goes out into the hallway and has to lean against a wall to get her composure.

She’s gone from uncertainty and confusion to delight and wonder to compassion and assertiveness in the space of a few minutes.

Yes. We know. We were there.

She’s like well, you know, he was dreaming so he probably didn’t mean to grab me, and goes off to clean while we check in with Moss.

I stare at the closed bedroom door, feeling every shade of stupid known to man.

Oh? Are there perhaps…FIFTY of them?

E.L. James can never use the word “shades” again in any of her writing. It’s always going to make people think of Fifty Shades of Grey. She cursed herself there. It would be like Dan Brown writing a book about the Enigma Machine. It would be impossible. Readers would insert, “Da Vinci” every time he used the word “code.”

Oh my god. I just thought of what it would be like for E.L. James to get her nails done and I felt a deep and true stab of sympathy for her.

Anyway, Moss feels real, real bad about what he did to Demelssia. He thinks about how caring she was toward him, and he can’t remember any other time a woman did that.

I don’t remember any woman putting me to bed and leaving me….

And I frightened her.

So, he feels bad about that. But then he gets into bed and thinks:

As I shut my eyes, I find myself wishing she had undressed me completely and joined me…here.

Thanks for specifying the location.

Going from, “I scared her,” to “I wish she’d decided to fuck me after I scared her,” ain’t a great look, Moss.

There’s a section break to indicate time passage and Moss wakes “with a start.” I swear to Christ, nobody can just wake up in one of James’s books. They’re in a constant state of alarm, just from opening their eyes. He’s missed a call from Caroline and finds his wallet and a condom on the bedside table and he’s like:

Fuck. A. Duck.

The phrase so nice, she had to use it twice.

Just kidding! It’s a phrase so nice, she has to use it…thrice. It shows up one more time, later.

He notices she cleaned up the clothes he left on the floor and doesn’t have a thought about how that meant she was in his room while he was naked. Just that he doesn’t like the idea of her emptying anyone else’s pockets, so maybe he should hire her full time.

Ah, the possessiveness. I knew it. I knew it would be back.

I wonder what time it is. There are no shimmers on the ceiling. Glancing out the window, I see nothing but a wall of white.

OH GOD THE THAMES HAS BEEN ERASED.

Nah, it’s a blizzard. So, it’s like 1:45 in the afternoon and Demelssia is still there cleaning. He goes out and finds her and apologizes again, and asks how she’s going to get home in the snow. The trains to West London probably aren’t running, he tells her and then checks to make sure.

“They’ve suspended all services.”

“Sus-pen-ded?” Her brow creases.

Oh, she doesn’t understand.

“The trains aren’t running.”

“Oh.” She frowns again, and I think I hear her say “suspended” several times under her breath, her lips forming the word.

The rage builds inside of Jenny like pressure in an Instant Pot. She cannot wait to hit the release valve.

Moss offers to let her stay at his apartment and she’s like, no, I have to go home. He asks her how she plans to get there, and she says she’ll walk. He tells her he’ll drive her, and he won’t take “no” for an answer.

We go to Demelssia’s POV while Moss goes to get his shoes on.

She will be alone in a car with him.

Is this okay?

What would her mother say?

A vision of her mother with her arms crossed and her face etched in meek disapproval comes to her mind.

And her father?

Instinctively she cups her cheek.

No. Her father would not approve.

Her father had approved of only one man.

A cruel man.

No. Do not think of him.

So, her father was abusive, too. The abusive situations are stacking up in such a way that it’s going to take a lot more skill than the author has to pull off a believable trust between the protagonists.

Moss told her she could play the piano while he gets dressed, so she sits down and does so.

Her memories of her father, her six days of homelessness, and her mother’s disapproval are lost in the whirling, icy colors of the music.

Then we go to Moss’s POV, where once again he’s watching her and being mesmerized by her, etc., then imagines her naked with her hair unbraided. I’m skimming a lot of this because the descriptions and interactions aren’t all that different from what we’ve seen before, including once again being in awe that she, an accomplished pianist, is able to memorize music, which is, you know. Part of being an accomplished pianist.

She stands, and it’s the first time I’ve seen her out of that hideous housecoat. My mouth dries. She’s slimmer than I’d thought, but her delicate curves are all woman.

Just say she has curves in all the right places. This is already fanfic.

“How old are you?” I ask in a sudden panic.

“I have twenty-three years.”

Old enough. Good.

For what? Old enough for what? She’s not having sex with you. She’s never implied that she wants to have sex with you.

As they go down to the garage, Moss thinks about how Demelssia doesn’t trust him, blah blah, but he’s all overwhelmed with lust for her, too. We find out he drives an F-Type Jaguar, which I’m on board with, but he also has a Land Rover, which I’m less on board with but grateful that he chooses it instead of the Jaguar for the blizzardy weather. The interior is a total wreck, which I am also on board with. I swear to Christ, my car had ants once. #TeamMessyCar

He has to instruct her to use a seatbelt.

“Oh.” She’s surprised. “We don’t wear these where I come from.”

Albania has a seatbelt law. I looked it up.

So, obviously, he thinks she doesn’t get to ride in cars much.

You know. Because she’s from rural Eastern Europe. Hey, that makes zero sense! People in rural areas are more likely to own cars than people in cities with mass transportation! Like, I realize that after the fall of communism in the region, Albania went a little bit in reverse, but Jesus Christ. People have cars and seatbelts.

As they drive, Moss asks Demelssia what brought her to London and she shuts the fuck down.

Something is off. Way off.

He doesn’t press the issue and changes the subject to the piano:

“I wanted to ask you, how do you remember each piece so well?”

In the article I linked in an earlier recap, James said she gives her characters the ability to play piano because she never learned and wished she had. I wish she would have done basic research about it.

Demelssia tells him that she sees the music in colors and that helps her remember.

I’ve heard of this. “Synesthesia.”

“Syn-a-thee–” She stops, unable to pronounce the word.

“Synesthesia.”

She tries again, with a little more success. “What is this?” she asks.

“You see musical notes as colors.”

She is a musician.

She has to have heard of synesthesia before.

The word for synesthesia is practically the same in Albanian as in English.

She would be able to pronounce it.

There’s a section break and they arrive at Magda’s house, where Moss sees Michal and asks if it’s Demelssia’s boyfriend. She’s like, no, he’s Magda’s fourteen-year-old son. Moss apologizes for grabbing her again, and she’s like, no prob, you were dreaming. Then she invites him in for tea:

“Do you want to come in and drink a cup of tea?”

and when he turns her down, she says:

“We have some coffee,”

So, she’s suddenly okay with articles and sentence order out of nowhere. I love the consistency.

But Moss still declines and tells her he’ll see her on Friday, and Michal frowns at him and that’s the end of the chapter.

My impression so far: Fuck. A. Duck.

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119 Comments

  1. gaukeley
    gaukeley

    Thank you for going through this, thanking for writing this in such a great way.

    I binged the previous 6 recaps last night and I laughed so hard, my dog shot me a disgusted look and left the room.

    I haven’t laughed out loud for months.

    So thank you very much, your great writing is truly appreciated.

    April 24, 2019
    |Reply
    • gaukeley
      gaukeley

      ugh. “thank you” instead of “thanking”. sorry.

      April 24, 2019
      |Reply
    • gaukeley
      gaukeley

      damn, I wrote this comment after reading the previous recaps and after reading this recap I see how absolutely inappropriate my comment is.

      I am sorry.

      April 25, 2019
      |Reply
  2. Ren Benton
    Ren Benton

    “his full lips quiver with each breath”

    I’m envisioning him snoring so strenuously, his lips are flapping like a dog with its head stuck out the window of a speeding car.

    April 24, 2019
    |Reply
    • Kitt
      Kitt

      I was drinking when I read that and almost did a spittake.

      April 27, 2019
      |Reply
    • Suzy
      Suzy

      My dad used to nap without his dentures. His lips flapped when he snored. It was HILARIOUS!

      April 30, 2019
      |Reply
  3. KT
    KT

    I took piano lessons for 10 years as a kid. I was by no means a master pianist. I could do Jingle Bells justice at Christmas, though. But even in my rudimentary levels, we had to memorize pieces of music for recitals. It’s really not that hard, especially considering how much you have to practice the pieces to get them down. It’s all muscle memory. So, MaxiMoss really shouldn’t be all that impressed by it if he’s even a hobby pianist.

    April 24, 2019
    |Reply
    • Ishi
      Ishi

      Yes! I didn’t do piano, I did the flute, but more than twenty years later I can still play Ode to Joy’s melody – but only if I don’t think too hard.

      April 24, 2019
      |Reply
  4. So Alyssiananmelzdia = Leila now? For she is so besotted she can’st pronounce words?

    However, I will say that this…

    “No!” she shouts.
    And he lets go immediately.

    …is the most impressed I’ve ever been with an EL James anything.

    April 24, 2019
    |Reply
  5. Hek
    Hek

    Because I have an interest in languages and wanted to see if EL James had actually researched this, I went and checked what the correct phrasing for talking about your age is in Albanian. The verb is “për të qenë”, which means “to be”, not “to have”.

    Not to say she couldn’t still make this error but this feels so very lazy. French and Italian native speakers are prone to making this type of error because in both French and Italian, you “have” years. But Albanian is not like that.

    April 24, 2019
    |Reply
    • Ariel
      Ariel

      I’m 80% sure she translated that from Polish rules of grammar. In Polish the structure is the same as in French and Italian – “I have twenty-three years” and not “I am twenty-three.”

      Since there’s already been three Polish characters appearing in “The Mister” and the fact, that there are massive amounts of Poles working in London at the moment, i’d go on a limb, that James found out what some differences between Polish and English wording are and then decided to copy-and-paste those onto Albanian, cos all Eastern European languages be the same, rite? Ugh.

      April 24, 2019
      |Reply
      • Ariel
        Ariel

        *there have been

        April 24, 2019
        |Reply
      • Nanani
        Nanani

        That, or having her be Albanian instead of Polish was a last minute change and what even is editing amirite

        April 25, 2019
        |Reply
    • Crystal
      Crystal

      In my generous headcanon, Alyssia speaks several languages, including Polish and French, so she sometimes muddles them up and uses English vocab with French grammar.

      May 8, 2019
      |Reply
      • Dove
        Dove

        I love this idea because it makes the most sense to me.

        May 8, 2019
        |Reply
  6. MyDog'sPA
    MyDog'sPA

    I want Jenny to review a good novel for once, say

    — Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha Book 1)
    by Tomi Adeyemi

    — Sea of Rust: A Novel
    by C. Robert Cargill

    My wife is halfway through the latter and loving it. It’s a post-apocalyptic tale where all humans were eradicated by intelligent robots and now even those are being assimilated into monster AI clans ala the Borg. She loved it where the Evangelical humans killed a colony of AI robots with an EMP burst and, well, the robots ‘forgot’ their “three laws of robotics” and brutally retaliated against the humans (kids, women, and all) and, let’s just say the ‘bots won that war.

    Conflict? Way more than Ms. Leonard.

    But, please, Jenny, read something good, too, once in a while.

    April 24, 2019
    |Reply
    • Razwick
      Razwick

      Oh boy I was not sure/did not think that Children of Blood and Bone was going to have a sequel (I finished it like 2 weeks ago, haven’t looked too much) but the fact that it’s a series is DELIGHTFUL NEWS.

      April 24, 2019
      |Reply
    • Ren Benton
      Ren Benton

      Sea of Rust was so good. They may have won the war, but they became what they destroyed. Tied with Murderbot for my favorite humanized robot story.

      April 24, 2019
      |Reply
    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      Oh, I promise, promise I read good books for pleasure. I wouldn’t recap a good book, though, because I want people to go read those.

      I’m reading one about the Donner party at the moment.

      April 24, 2019
      |Reply
      • Ariel
        Ariel

        Oh hai, Jenny.

        Hope you have fun at the Keweenaw Peninsula and the writing goes well! Glad to see the saga of Sophie and Neal continue.

        P.S. I was wondering, if you’ll be going back to reviewing “Beautiful Disaster” after you’re done with “The Mister”? I really hope so – I love those recaps.

        April 24, 2019
        |Reply
      • Black Knight
        Black Knight

        Would the Donner Party book be Alma Katsu’s The Hunger? I just finished that a couple weeks ago. Quite good!

        May 5, 2019
        |Reply
  7. Mr. Fell
    Mr. Fell

    “Oh.” She’s surprised. “We don’t wear these where I come from.”

    Even those who do not wear a seatbelt still know they are supposed to wear one. Fuck this whole thing.

    Also I hope Michael had a impressive beard that made him look at least eighteen or Maxim forgot to put his glasses on, because I refuse to believe I’m supposed to be charmed that Maxim was “jealous” of a fourteen-years old boy being the boyfriend of a twenty-three year old woman.

    April 24, 2019
    |Reply
    • Ariel
      Ariel

      Yeah. I never expected this book to be some How-To guide on writing foreign immigrants with sensitivity, but Jesus Christ, a woman in 21 century being confused by seatbelts? She’s from Albania, James, not from 1238. God.

      What’s next, Alessia being shocked by a cellphone? Staring blankly at a gas stove?

      Why not have her fondly reminisce about riding a donkey to work everyday and be done with it?

      Also, yes, what kind of a freakish growth spurt must have Michal had to be mistaken for an adult man? The hell is this fuckery?

      April 24, 2019
      |Reply
      • Mr. Fell
        Mr. Fell

        The only good thing about how little thought E.L. James put into this is that she knows so little about Albania that she cannot drag Albania’s actual history into this.

        Also at some point Alessia is going to be amazed at food. I can feel it in my bones.

        I knew a guy in high school who was really tall and had a beard at fourteen, to the point where he once showed people his ID to stop all the rumours about him being a delinquent who was held back, kicked out and then enrolled in our high school. So it’s not impossible.

        It’s however extremely unlikely and I don’t think E.L. James actually put any thought into it.

        April 25, 2019
        |Reply
        • Mike
          Mike

          I worked with a 15 year old once who the year prior had had a MASSIVE growth spurt and was now 6’5, and could easily have passed for mid 20’s. It does happen, but so rarely that I can only think of that one example… So I’m with you that while it technically is plausible, it’s a bit ridiculous and she just wanted a short term source of character conflict. But she doesn’t even drag it out, so it seems so pointless!

          April 25, 2019
          |Reply
        • Ariel
          Ariel

          Yikes, I feel for your school friend. That guy’s teenage years must have been quite tough…

          April 26, 2019
          |Reply
    • Jenny (But not Jenny Trout)
      Jenny (But not Jenny Trout)

      As the mom of a fourteen year old boy, I can say with certainty they don’t look like the twenty year olds who play teenagers on TV.

      April 24, 2019
      |Reply
  8. Ishi
    Ishi

    Is it terrible that I read this review twice, then mapped the distance between Cornwall and London just so I could bitch that he said he “drove all night”, but that’s a 4-hour drive?

    I know Americans have a somewhat skewed idea of an acceptable length for a car trip, but 4 hours is … that’s nothing. That’s within bounds for a weekend getaway.

    April 24, 2019
    |Reply
    • Puff
      Puff

      What’s even better is James isn’t even American. She’s British. So she has literally no excuse.

      April 24, 2019
      |Reply
    • Sushi
      Sushi

      To be fair, depending on what part of London he lives in (somewhere near the Thames, I suspect) , he could’ve spent an additional four hours just trying to get out of the city.

      April 24, 2019
      |Reply
      • Ishi
        Ishi

        Dang. That’s valid, and more than likely where the discrepancy kicks in.

        I’m still calling bullshit on him being so wiped out he dragged muddy shoes through his fancy apartment, though.

        April 24, 2019
        |Reply
      • In the middle of the night, though? I have, by chance, lived in bad traffic cities for the entirety of my life and if I’m leaving at any time that could be described as “driving all night” it’s empty enough that my main time limits are speed limits and red lights.

        April 25, 2019
        |Reply
      • Cyrus
        Cyrus

        Where did you get the impression that he lives near the Thames? I think you’re way off.

        May 8, 2019
        |Reply
    • Xebi
      Xebi

      I live in London and like to visit Cornwall but it’s always at least a 5 hour drive. As another commenter said, part of that is just navigating through London itself. I’m gonna give ol’ eel features a pass on this one, because if Maxipad left quite late, say 11pm or midnight, then it would definitely feel like he was driving all night.

      He would totally have a Land Rover, too. I think the Queen drives one of those.

      April 25, 2019
      |Reply
    • Anon
      Anon

      If he left late at night and drove when he was normally sleeping, four hours is a long drive. I’m not sure why you think Americans have a skewed idea of what length is an acceptable car trip, though.

      That’s not a thing in the US. Really. We happily drive a lot longer than that for a weekend.

      April 25, 2019
      |Reply
      • bewalsh7
        bewalsh7

        I think that’s what they meant, that 4 hours of driving is nothing for an American (which I am). Hell, tomorrow I’m leaving for Orlando, FL, about a 15 hour drive for me. The longest drives I’ve done were about 24 hours with just stops for food/gas. I was driving with other people thankfully and didn’t all that on my own.

        April 25, 2019
        |Reply
        • Ishi
          Ishi

          That is what I meant, thank you!

          I live in the middle of the Midwest, so anything under about 10 hours is a perfectly reasonable drive. I’ve done 8 hours both ways for a weekend visit to family, so I know I’m not exactly in my right mind when I consider 4 hours to be not a big deal.

          April 25, 2019
          |Reply
  9. Puff
    Puff

    What”s the point of giving your heroine Synesthesia if we’re never in her POV? Does it only work with music? I don’t know how it works so maybe it is like that, but then why do we have to hear how impressed Maxim is by her playing in his POV when she plays? Is the Synesthesia just something to give her a “funny quirk” rather than a character trait or something? Oh hey I answered my own question.

    April 24, 2019
    |Reply
    • Rebecca
      Rebecca

      It does not only work with music (though I suppose hers could). I have sound/touch synesthesia, where I can feel sounds as though they’re moving over my skin.

      April 24, 2019
      |Reply
      • Ariel
        Ariel

        That’s super cool. Never knew that existed.

        I just googled Synesthesia out of curiosity and found out there are way more types of it, than I previously thought.

        Like seeing different tastes as shapes.

        Or different sounds having a particular temperature.

        Or “Ordinal Personification. This is where a number elicits a personality. For example 3 is a young boy eating ice cream and 8 is his sister.”

        Brains be crazy, man.

        April 24, 2019
        |Reply
        • …8 being the sister is both totally logical and totally adorable.

          April 25, 2019
          |Reply
      • Xebi
        Xebi

        My friend can taste people’s names. It’s fascinating.

        April 25, 2019
        |Reply
    • Nanani
      Nanani

      I have digit synesthesia – I see digits (as in single digit numbers) in specific colours. Very handy for making sure nothing is skipped in a numbered list, since any missing number will stand out by breaking the usual pattern.

      Some people have more general number synesthesia and see different colours for more numbers, dependent on things like odd/even, factors, and such. Mine is just digits, so 10 looks the same as a 1 and a 0 by themselves for example.

      April 25, 2019
      |Reply
  10. Nikita
    Nikita

    If this was actually Poldark AU, I’m even more furious at EL James because she’s effectively erased all the things that make Demelza who she is and why Ross fell in love with her. Demelza is scrappy and argues! She has a personality and a point of view! Put EL James in jail for both plagiarism and character assassination honestly.

    April 24, 2019
    |Reply
  11. Nikita
    Nikita

    Also, could Oliver be Dwight Enys? Or maybe Captain Henshawe, whoever the guy is who helps Ross run the mines.

    April 24, 2019
    |Reply
  12. Perfidiousness
    Perfidiousness

    I don’t understand, does James honestly think that people in Albania just sit around all day in headscarves, carrying turnip baskets, and running their clothes through an old crank operated washing barrel? Any minute now someone is going to unironically talk about ZEE ULD CORNTRY in a heavy Slavic accent.

    April 24, 2019
    |Reply
    • Ariel
      Ariel

      That’s exactly what she thinks.

      All the women are traditional and against sex before marriage or even taking a ride with a man (Alessia’s mother), all the man are patriarchal brutes, who rule the household with an iron fist and arrange marriages for their daughters (Alessia’s father), while probably sporting enormous beards and carrying a huge cup of mead. And the trains run on coal. There are no cities, the entirety of Albania is just a massive, massive field. With pianos.

      April 24, 2019
      |Reply
      • Kim
        Kim

        *recalling the long hard hours toiling in the piano fields*

        April 25, 2019
        |Reply
    • Lucy
      Lucy

      She claims she’s done “research “ on Albania and has even traveled there twice, but then we’ve seen the kind of research she’s done on BDSM…
      Incidentally, the Albanian ambassador to England unsurprisingly said he’s not happy with this novel.

      April 24, 2019
      |Reply
      • Ariel
        Ariel

        Oh god, I googled it and found this quote describing Alessia in one of the articles:

        “As she strikes up a romance with an English aristocrat she marvels at ‘clever phones’ and the ‘magic card’ he uses to withdraw money.”

        I…have no words…

        Albania has three leading telecommunications service providers (Eagle, Vodafone and Telekom Albania), over 257 media outlets, including over 50 cable tv stations and a robust economy, but sure…magic cards…

        Can somebody please strangle E.L. with an Albanian flag?

        April 24, 2019
        |Reply
        • Lucy
          Lucy

          She also says she’s familiar with American culture because she watched shows on Netflix and HBO, how’s that compatible with no smartphones and credit cards? Credit cards have been around for a long time, wouldn’t be she aware of what they are even if she’s never had one or been around people with cards? Also, I don’t know about Albanian, but many languages use “smartphone “ as a loan word, so her calling them “clever phones “ doesn’t make much sense.

          April 24, 2019
          |Reply
          • Ariel
            Ariel

            Oh, I don’t think she meant it as a cutesy mistranslation of the word “smartphone.”

            I think she meant it in a: “Oh gosh, it’s a phone you can use for more, than calling people? You can send them written messages too?! And set an alarm?! And listen to music?! And it doesn’t even have a rotary dial?! How clever and amazing!” way.

            I might be wrong, but i’m not holding my breath.

            April 25, 2019
        • Mr. Fell
          Mr. Fell

          You know, EVEN IF ALESSIA WAS LITERALLY RAISED UNDER A ROCK UNTIL 2017… she had to took a plane to get to London, right?

          So if there ever was a place that astonished her, it should have been the international airport and the city it was in.

          And she’s living with a family who tags her in Instagram pictures, she also should have already known.

          And SHE’S LIVING IN LONDON.

          What can this guy possibily do to astonish her, she’s been living in London for a couple of months at the very least.

          Also she’s an immigrant worker, even if she is not legal she probably tried to find out if there was any way to get an account or something.

          April 25, 2019
          |Reply
          • Ariel
            Ariel

            “You know, EVEN IF ALESSIA WAS LITERALLY RAISED UNDER A ROCK UNTIL 2017… she had to took a plane to get to London, right?

            So if there ever was a place that astonished her, it should have been the international airport and the city it was in.“

            Yup. Especially considering Albania has three international airports and the one in Tirana is pretty swanky. It’s design is downright futuristic. Which makes it all the more bizarre, if we consider James claims she’s visited Albania twice.

            I think the Instagram thing was one of the commenters’ alternative fix for the “Max gets jealous of Alessia’s potential boyfriend due to a man’s name being stitched inside of her coat” thing.

            April 26, 2019
    • MayaB
      MayaB

      I’m from Eastern Europe myself and I’m getting tired of the whole misrepresentation. It was funny in Eurotrip, but it’s getting old now.
      P.s. Polish is a slavic language, but Albanian is definitely not.

      April 25, 2019
      |Reply
  13. Appoline
    Appoline

    I’m getting adds for housekeeper coats now.

    April 24, 2019
    |Reply
    • Ariel
      Ariel

      *cackles*

      April 24, 2019
      |Reply
    • Anon
      Anon

      Soon we will all be wearing housecoats and housekeeper uniforms.

      April 25, 2019
      |Reply
      • Ariel
        Ariel

        “Handmaid’s Tale” the E. L. James edition.

        April 26, 2019
        |Reply
      • Heidi Aphrodite
        Heidi Aphrodite

        Don’t forget the giant pink panties/knickers/pants! I can’t wait!

        April 26, 2019
        |Reply
  14. Coco
    Coco

    “Why race through the icy lanes on a freezing night?”
    So Maxim questions the reasons for his brother’s fatally reckless behavior and then…does the exact same thing? He drove back to London overnight in a rush to be near what’s her face when it was already sleeting in Cornwall and snowing, or about to snow in London.
    It really annoys me that she describes it as a blizzard versus snowfall or storm. A real blizzard in London would probably be extremely difficult and slow to drive in, because no matter what type of car he was driving the roads would not have been cleared. Also, if the characters learned that there were massive power outages or something, meaning that it would be dangerous for her to go home, Maxim would have to invite her to stay overnight meaning their could be any forward movement in their relationship.
    By the way, I’m sure it will be revealed that Kit was racing down those icy lanes because he learned A) Caroline was cheating on him B) His business manager was embezzling C) Caroline was cheating on him with his embezzling business manager.

    April 24, 2019
    |Reply
    • Ariel
      Ariel

      I really hope it’s C. That would be wonderfully, fittingly cliched.

      April 24, 2019
      |Reply
    • Xebi
      Xebi

      Yeah. We don’t really get blizzards in London. We haven’t had more than a couple of inches since 2010.

      April 25, 2019
      |Reply
      • I was about to say this – that’s actually the most wildly unrealistic thing about this ridiculously unrealistic story so far. A blizzard? In LONDON??? Don’t make me laugh.

        April 25, 2019
        |Reply
        • Anon
          Anon

          I have never lived in a big city with a subway system, but I’m pretty sure it takes a hell of a lot of snow to shut one down. Otherwise places like Boston, NYC and Chicago would have a LOT of trouble operating for six months of the year. I did live in the Buffalo, NY, area for a long time and while the subway there practically goes nowhere, it doesn’t shut down for a normal snow storm or even blizzard. We had seven FEET of snow on Christmas Eve once and people were still getting around reasonably well.

          So if it’s a blizzard bad enough to stop the subway system entirely, how is he able to drive in it in any vehicle short of a tank?

          Or does London get paralyzed over snow? It doesn’t seem like it would …

          April 25, 2019
          |Reply
          • Iona Lovell
            Iona Lovell

            I live in a small northern(ish) city on the pacific northwest and a foot of snow is all it takes for everything in the city – the buses, the trains, the traffic – to shut down and gridlock. Sometimes it only takes 4 inches! If it falls rapidly and accumulates in a hurry, the snow plows dont get out in time. And somehow (somehow) despite being a northern city, the out-door train tracks don’t get cleared by rush-hour.

            Maybe London is like that?

            April 25, 2019
          • Anon
            Anon

            @Iona —

            Maybe? But I always thought London got more snow than the PNW. I could be wrong. I have friends who would know, though. I’ll ask them one of these days.

            I know places that aren’t as used to snow have a harder time dealing with it and it’s far less of an issue since it doesn’t happen as often, anyway. If London is more like the PNW than the NE US, maybe they do shut down.

            April 25, 2019
          • London's burning, London's burning
            London's burning, London's burning

            I am a Londoner, and can confirm that London does indeed grind to a halt if it so much as sees a snowflake in the middle distance.

            You need the right infrastructure to be able to cope with snow, and it’s not really worthwhile investing in that infrastructure in a place where it only snows a little bit once or twice a year, if that.

            April 25, 2019
          • Mike
            Mike

            As a Canadian living in Lonon, I could not fathom how ill-equipped they were to deal with even the tiniest amounts of snow. I moved in 2015, and I think snow stayed on the ground for more than a few minutes… twice? And like, ridiculously small amounts. Not even enough to cover the grass or even leave any ice or slick patches on the road. And the whole city just ceases to be able to function. Trains stop running, airports shut down… You’d think the world was coming to an end. And the locals react like they were in some harrowing scenario where they looked death in the face. Meanwhile, I’m wandering around with my coat open and wondering what the hell everyone is complaining about…

            I imagine the ‘blizzard’ he describes as being just light flurries. And the panic would be REAL. It’s kind of hilarious actually. It’s one of the things I love most about London’ winter barely exists. I may be Canadian, but if I never saw snow again I wouldn’t complain…

            April 25, 2019
  15. Ariel
    Ariel

    “‘Glancing out the window, I see nothing but a wall of white.’

    OH GOD THE THAMES HAS BEEN ERASED.”

    Muenehehehe!

    Also, mines have chimneys?

    Also, also…so Maximus Mossus Trevedark is in a sleepy daze, opens his eyes, sees Alessia, grabs her and pulls her on top of himself, therefore placing the weight of an entire human being on his body and none of that wakes him up? Bullshit. Contrived, unrealistic bullshit.

    But then that could be a description of the entirety of James’ works.

    April 24, 2019
    |Reply
    • Sigyn
      Sigyn

      Oh but in Eel’s mind, women aren’t really entire human beings but delicate flowers put on this earth for decoration and male amusement.

      April 24, 2019
      |Reply
    • Keaalu
      Keaalu

      Old Victorian tin mines had chimneys, yeah. In some parts of Cornwall you can see dozens of them stretching off into the distance, although I think they were for processing the ore AFTER you dug it up.

      There hasn’t been a working tin mine in the UK since about the 1980s though, and all those romantic clifftop chimneys have been derelict and abandoned for decades, so I don’t know why he decided to go stand on a dangerous bit of the coast in winter except because Poldark did?

      April 25, 2019
      |Reply
      • Ariel
        Ariel

        Thank you for the info – I never knew that.

        He was standing on the cliff top, because it’s a nice, romantic visual for our tortured, brooding hero to find himself in. How can you know he’s brooding and tortured, if there isn’t a dramatic wind blowing through his hair and sea waves crashing onto the rocks below?!

        April 26, 2019
        |Reply
        • Ariel
          Ariel

          *any dramatic wind

          April 26, 2019
          |Reply
  16. S.E. Scott
    S.E. Scott

    I’m struggling with her changing into her work clothes when she gets there. Where is she changing? By the front door? I have never heard of a modern not-live-in house cleaner doing this.

    Also, this is from last time, but I no longer understand this alleged housecoat. It’s nylon? And see-through? Surely she knows the level of transparency it has. She thought it was a good idea to take her pants off, presumably knowing he’d be seeing her underwear?

    April 24, 2019
    |Reply
    • IMC
      IMC

      Both my cleaner and my parents’ cleaner come in wearing street clothes and change into a more comfortable outfit to work (track pants, T-shirt, and crocs). Then change back when they leave.
      My cleaner changes in my wardrobe room and my parents’ in the laundry room.

      April 24, 2019
      |Reply
      • Lucy
        Lucy

        My parents ‘cleaner also changes in the laundry room I guess, she shuts the door to signal that (the door is always open otherwise). She wears a tracksuit in winter and what I guess James would call a “housecoat “ in summer.

        April 24, 2019
        |Reply
    • Gretel
      Gretel

      My mom worked as a cleaning lady and she always changed. I wrote a huge rant like two chapters ago but the reasons are:

      1) you sweat a lot and you don’t want to walk back into the streets in sweaty clothes, it’s gross and might cause the flu or a UTI
      2) street clothes are uncomfortable for cleaning
      3) chemicals might discolor the clothes, they might get dirty or tear so you don’t want your street clothes for cleaning
      4) you need good shoes you can walk around for several hours and not put on your normal street wear because they’re uncomfortable and dirty thus negating the whole cleaning thing

      So yeah, usually people change in whatever room they’re allowed to use.

      April 25, 2019
      |Reply
  17. Jenny (But not Jenny Trout)
    Jenny (But not Jenny Trout)

    OH GOD THE THAMES HAS BEEN ERASED.

    I can’t breath and everyone at home wants to know what’s wrong with me. Laughing so hard.

    April 24, 2019
    |Reply
  18. Erin
    Erin

    I know everyone agrees this is a Poldark rip off. However, anyone else maybe just a little reminded of Colin Firth’s character’s story line in Love Actually? I can’t help but be reminded of it a bit while reading the recaps.

    April 24, 2019
    |Reply
    • Lucy
      Lucy

      I was also reminded of the Indian film “Sir” down the title and the death of the hero ‘s elder brother. Needless to say, it handled the power imbalance much more sensitively.
      The “employer and maid” fall in love isn’t exactly a new trope.

      April 24, 2019
      |Reply
    • Kim
      Kim

      And this is making me realize why it was so important for him to be linguistically handicapped too. Her being the only one who doesn’t understand things really amps up the power imbalance!

      April 25, 2019
      |Reply
    • Anon
      Anon

      Oh! Good catch! How did I not get that? Are we going to find out Moss is a writer??? Well, I guess the composing music thing. If he loses a composition from wind blowing it into the water, we’ll know for sure.

      April 25, 2019
      |Reply
      • sam
        sam

        If he loses a composition (to the Thames, ofc; Demelssia leaves a window open and the sheets just sail right out), the twist will be that Demelssia’s unfathomably powerful music brain remembers it in its entirety. Cut to a scene where she plays the piece from memory as he transcribes.

        April 25, 2019
        |Reply
        • Oh, shit, you guys, I’m willing to bet a pound that effing happens.

          April 25, 2019
          |Reply
        • Erin
          Erin

          I did not think this could get more Love Actually while remaining firmly EL, but I think you just proved me very wrong!

          April 25, 2019
          |Reply
  19. Sigyn
    Sigyn

    I hate to say it, but I’ve seen worse in regards to trauma vs sexy. As in, a traumatized woman raping her sleeping male love interest and it being played as a sexy power reversal and not in any kind of sensical way.

    I feel like Eel should have hired an ESL or Albanian consultant to help with the language bits, but that would require putting actual effort into her books.

    “Her face etched in meek disapproval” seems like an oxymoron? How can your face be etched in something and meek?

    “her delicate curves are all woman.” …um. Wow. That’s…awful. *stands on the Body Acceptance and Anti-Transphobia Soapbox* Firstly, women who don’t have “delicate” curves, and women who don’t have any curves at all, are still women. Secondly, I have seen men (cis and otherwise) with curvy bodies – wide hips, ample chestage, etc., who are still absolutely gorgeous. Thirdly, God forbid she either not be skinny, or be skinny with no curves. Ugh. Fuck Eel. (Maybe someone should so she understands how fucking works.) (Sorry, that was mean.)

    Old enough for what?
    ^ drinking, probably.

    She’s never implied that she wants to have sex with you.
    ^ yeah but thanks to metagaming / lack of character-author division, he knows she does.

    Demelssia doesn’t trust him, blah blah, but he’s all overwhelmed with lust for her, too.
    ^ sounds like a personal problem

    Moss sees Michal and asks if it’s Demelssia’s boyfriend. She’s like, no, he’s Magda’s fourteen-year-old son.
    ^ ew, wtf? How does he look anywhere near old enough to be the boyfriend of a 23 year old woman?

    April 24, 2019
    |Reply
    • E.
      E.

      You can drink alcohol legally after the age of 18 in the UK, not 21 as in the US. So I am confused what he meant. Maybe he was worried she is too young and he is perving on somebody quite young?

      April 25, 2019
      |Reply
      • This is basically how I took it. I’m turning 30 in a couple weeks and it might be LEGAL for me to creep on someone who’s 18 or 19, but boy would I feel weird about it. 23 would be a little better.

        April 25, 2019
        |Reply
        • JordieBelle
          JordieBelle

          The creepy rule. 50% of your age plus 7 years is the minimum age your younger partner should be to avoid it seeming creepy.

          April 25, 2019
          |Reply
      • Xebi
        Xebi

        It made me think, if it’s sex he’s thinking of, the age of consent here is 16. If he thought for a minute she was that young then his first concern should have been why he was employing a child, and with no paperwork too.

        April 25, 2019
        |Reply
    • Riea
      Riea

      She basically wanted to have someone for thr Male lead to be jealous of, but also be able to cut him out as competition early on, cause shes a lazy writer, hence making him 14. Like she could have easily made him 18 but have Alessia see him as brother or even have been 17 but look a little older. Like 14 year olds dont usually look like they are in their 20’s, but a 17 yr old might be able to pass

      May 6, 2019
      |Reply
  20. amblonyxx
    amblonyxx

    I’m actually waiting at this point for Allessia to suddenly just know how to speak English so that the pesky language barrier is removed.

    Like in Jane Auel’s The Valley of the Horses. Ayla has a huge language barrier with her love interest and they’re learning to communicate. Then she has a dream and wakes up remembering her birth language. Which she never spoke past the age of 5 but is fluent in. And that is actually a different dialect to the love interest but they still can communicate perfectly.

    April 24, 2019
    |Reply
    • Sushi
      Sushi

      I always figured that had something to do with all the drugs she drank in Clan of the Cave Bear expanding her mind. After that, she picked up several languages very quickly IIRC.

      April 25, 2019
      |Reply
      • amblonyxx
        amblonyxx

        I never thought of that! But I only read Clan of the Cave Bear now because I love that book and hate Jondalar, haha

        April 25, 2019
        |Reply
  21. Bookjunk
    Bookjunk

    These recaps are wonderful, but the book itself sounds so, so boring.

    April 25, 2019
    |Reply
  22. Gretel
    Gretel

    How he pulls Alessia down and basically assaults her is gross but what made me incredibly angry was him wearing his goddamn fucking boots into the house.

    So EL wants to make me believe that a FILTHY RICH dude put boots on to go to Cornwal instead of having a spare of boots in the trunk or prepared in their estate for use and after walking around in mud and dirt and coal he doesn’t change shoes. No, he leaves the boots ON, drives “the whole night” (he must have a fucking chauffeur, don’t you fucking tell me he drives himself when he’s Lord Tripper) with these boots inside the car. He gets home, his boots are somehow still wet and muddy after a several hours long drive and instead of leaving them at the front or in the laundry room or whatever, he walks with mud covered shoes throught he whole apartment and lays on the sofa, splattering the dirt unto the carpet.

    Not only do I call bullshit due to logical problems (yeah, sure he has only one pair of shoes instead of changing into boots at the Cornwall estate and then change back; hours long drive and the boots are still wet; who the fuck wouldn’t want to get out of the boots after hours of wearing them as fast as possible), I also call Maxim a huge fucking dickwaffle.
    He’s a callous, egotistical man-baby.
    And there’s nothing endearing about a man that behaves as reckless as him.

    Also, I’m getting real tired of the Othering and racial stereotyping of Albanian culture. Albanians have TVs, smartphones, the internet, electricity, a Government, infrastructure, etc. Yes, even the people living in rural areas! Because for many people living in rural areas, TVs, smartphones and cars are essential and a central form of entertainment.
    Fuck off with the “bUt WoOt R sEaTbElT???”

    April 25, 2019
    |Reply
    • Xebi
      Xebi

      I buy the lack of a chauffeur (some people just prefer to drive themselves – look at Prince Philip’s recent woes) but I’m totally with you on the boots thing. Not only is that super gross, but he wouldn’t have driven 5 hours or whatever with those on. We’re probably supposed to think “oh he’s so tired after the journey that he couldn’t even muster the energy to take them off” but he wouldn’t have driven back without changing his shoes.

      April 25, 2019
      |Reply
    • Jules
      Jules

      There is literally nothing sexy about this guy. He’s a filthy pig who doesn’t clean up anything, he’s a horn dog who wants to bang a chick he may think is underage and his housekeeper and afraid of him, but doesn’t matter because she’s curvy, he’s a forking moron who doesn’t realize he can take his boots off when he walks through the door. What are we supposed to be attracted to here?

      Dementia comes across as a bit slow, which is 100% on Eel’s horribly insensitive depiction of someone foreign.

      At this point I hope the Thames has up and quit this book, just grabbed all its water and stormed off all “leave me out of this shit, I quit” and went off to flow elsewhere.

      April 25, 2019
      |Reply
      • Ariel
        Ariel

        “There is literally nothing sexy about this guy. He’s a filthy pig who doesn’t clean up anything, he’s a horn dog who wants to bang a chick he may think is underage and his housekeeper and afraid of him, but doesn’t matter because she’s curvy, he’s a forking moron who doesn’t realize he can take his boots off when he walks through the door. What are we supposed to be attracted to here?

        Dementia comes across as a bit slow, which is 100% on Eel’s horribly insensitive depiction of someone foreign.”

        It’s like you pulled all of that straight out my brain.

        “At this point I hope the Thames has up and quit this book, just grabbed all its water and stormed off all “leave me out of this shit, I quit” and went off to flow elsewhere.”

        Hee hee hee.

        #JusticeForThames

        April 26, 2019
        |Reply
  23. Izzy
    Izzy

    Kit. Kit. Kit.
    Marcia. Marcia. Marcia.

    I know I ranted about this a few chapters ago but this really is the worst example of instant attraction I’ve read. Maybe because I’m only getting bits and pieces instead of the whole but I don’t think so somehow. Let your editor do their fucking job, James.

    This chapters cliche that can go fuck itself is the womanly curves cliche. It wasn’t the only one but that one does make my skin crawl.

    Is this better than FSoG? Well I’m not worried that our hero is going to murder our heroine and dump her in a shallow grave. So there’s that.

    It’s not like I expect James to handle really any real world issue with tact but was it really so much to ask she replace “is he going to rape me and would I mind so much?” to “I trust he him”? Why does she need people to explain these things to her?

    April 25, 2019
    |Reply
  24. Anon
    Anon

    “The first freezing spots of sleet froom the coming storm splatters my face.”

    There should not be an “s” at the end of “splatter.” “Spots … splatter.” If they aren’t going to run this by a content editor, could they at least have a copy editor look at it? They could AT LEAST give us proper grammar if they aren’t going to give us anything else.

    That entire paragraph and description are so cliche, I could write that in my sleep. Ugh.

    I actually looked up scullery yesterday and according to The Great and Powerful Google, a laundry room and a scullery are the same thing. So maybe Eel needs to keep her terms more consistent, but yeah, I know. Not gonna happen.

    “In the white light that swirls through the glass wall …”

    She’s trying really hard to write a literary novel here. REALLY HARD. I almost feel bad about how awful she is at it.

    I don’t know how to embed a video into a comment, so I’m just going to give the link. The interaction between these “love interests” reminds me of this Monty Python sketch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEzzwkLq5CI

    Is there a jail for abusing and misusing ellipses? I use them a lot, but I try to use them appropriately. Eel needs to stop. She doesn’t understand ellipses.

    “… it’s the first time I’ve seen her out of that hideous housecoat.”

    Is the housecoat sexy or not? COME ON!

    “For what? Old enough for what? She’s not having sex with you. She’s never implied that she wants to have sex with you.”

    I kinda get this. I kept thinking about Daniel Radclife’s butt while watching the last Harry Potter movie and I couldn’t help it, but I felt icky about it and it helped to not feel AS icky knowing he was at least legal. So it isn’t necessarily that she’s old enough for legal sex so much as he feels less icky thinking of her that way because of her age.

    But it’s Eel, so probably none of that is correct.

    And the most unbelievable part of this chapter is that an English gentleman turned down a cuppa.

    April 25, 2019
    |Reply
  25. Maggie
    Maggie

    Tbf, even if one word is spelled very similarly in two languages, the pronounciation may still be completely different. So when you hear for the first time a word you know pronounced by a native speaker you can still be confused. So imo, what should happen in this scene with synesthesia is Alessia not understanding the word initially and then realising it’s the word she knows very well and feeling embarassed and stupid and cursing in mind incomprehensible British accent and maybe telling Moss how does it sound in Albanian. Or something. But what am I even expecting, writing “Me speak English good’ characters is way easier!

    April 25, 2019
    |Reply
    • triflepillow
      triflepillow

      Either that or… she is supposed to be such a pure and simple country maiden, she has no business knowing big words over two syllables, no matter what the language.

      April 30, 2019
      |Reply
  26. Pre-Successful Indie (now with less misquoting)
    Pre-Successful Indie (now with less misquoting)

    I’ve got it! It all ties together. Alessia is CLEARLY from Mepos, from Perfect Strangers. Maybe ELJ secretly did research via American TV for this one, too.

    April 25, 2019
    |Reply
    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      I shit you not, just MINUTES ago, I said the same thing in an unhinged rant filmed for my YouTube channel.

      April 25, 2019
      |Reply
  27. My take on “old enough” is that Demelssia is so darn pure and innocent that she *looks* 14, but she’s totally not, so you can’t call Maximinimum a perv. Why, he even asked, just to be sure! Meanwhile, she’s “slim,” doesn’t understand seatbelts, and a 14-year-old boy could plausibly be her boyfriend.

    It reminds me of schoolgirl porn, and how Ana was always infantilized around Chedward.

    April 25, 2019
    |Reply
    • Jules
      Jules

      For me it’s pervy not based on her actual age but based on the age he thinks she might be when he’s having sex fantasies about her. So if he is having sex fantasies about someone he thinks might be 14 and she just happens to turn out to be 23, he’s still a fucking perv because he still had pervy thoughts about someone he thought was a child.

      But Eel seems to like gross, pervy, assholes so she probably thought it was hot that he thought his “daily” was a kid. Just like she thinks it’s hot that she’s a sex trafficking victim who is being manhandled by this rich guy and likes it. UGH! I just can’t. Eel writes the single worst “romantic heroes” since Heathcliff wandered the moors.

      April 25, 2019
      |Reply
  28. H. Savinien
    H. Savinien

    Okay, there’s a character in one of my favorite media properties who repeats his partner’s name a lot (“Ray. Ray. Ray. RAY.”), but it’s got a purpose and is acknowledged as a sometimes-annoying habit. The partner in question is excitable and doesn’t always listen well or process that he’s being addressed the first time.

    This is just melodrama.

    April 25, 2019
    |Reply
    • Bookjunk
      Bookjunk

      It is Fraser from Due South? I LOVE that show! (If it’s not: oh well, I’m happy just thinking about it.)

      April 25, 2019
      |Reply
      • H. Savinien
        H. Savinien

        YUP.

        April 29, 2019
        |Reply
        • Bookjunk
          Bookjunk

          Yay! Now I’ve got an even bigger smile on my face. I think I’m gonna rewatch the show soon. It’s been too long already.

          April 29, 2019
          |Reply
          • H. Savinien
            H. Savinien

            *thumbs up*

            April 30, 2019
  29. RenySun
    RenySun

    Perhaps James is hinting at the sexual nature of her next dysfunctional book with all this fuck a duck talk?

    April 25, 2019
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      Scrooge McDuck fanfiction in 1, 2, 3… go! Glittering Goldie won’t know what hit ‘er.

      April 25, 2019
      |Reply
    • Tez Miller
      Tez Miller

      I did see a rumour somewhere that she’s writing a paranormal romance…

      April 25, 2019
      |Reply
      • Jules
        Jules

        Oh crap! She’s plagiarizing Howard the Duck isn’t she? Is nothing safe from her total lack of writing ability?

        April 26, 2019
        |Reply
  30. Evil!Blonde Bitch
    Evil!Blonde Bitch

    The way Eel writes Alessia as reacting to getting forcibly pulled down onto her employer makes me so irrationally angry I’m practically frothing. She’s a victim of sex trafficking, you old dingbat! She is NOT going to find a near-assault situation sexy AT ALL. That’s not how people react. I’ve never been assaulted and I would freak out!!! A victim of abuse would FLIP THE FUCK OUT, or dissociate, or basically have a complete panic response. Literally anything else besides find it sexy.

    Has EL James done any research on anything in her miserable life?!

    April 25, 2019
    |Reply

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