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Fifty Shades Darker chapter 12 recap, or “Piano for Dummies”

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Okay, I’m going to be straight with you, before we dive into the recap like you’re not supposed to dive into your ass. I am about to abuse my readership with a sinister ulterior motive. My kid is doing this fundraiser thing. The whole point is to raise money to go to Mackinac Island for a few days and learn about Michigan history. If you support educational trips, or Michigan, or me getting rid of my kid for a few days, or you’re a Somewhere In Time fan who just spazzes out about anything to do with Mackinac Island, then check out this (fundraiser over) and see if there’s anything you could use that would help some lucky writer get three whole kidless days while her son is stranded on an island that doesn’t allow automobiles.

Now, here is the thing, I don’t want you to think, “Jesus, she just did that really manipulative thing where she promised us more recaps if we raised a thousand bucks for her stranded friend, now she’s trying to bilk us for more cash?” No. Not at all. I have nothing to emotionally blackmail you with this time. It’s not like I’m going to withhold recaps from you or anything. I’m just thinking of this as more like United States of Tara, where her daughter dresses up like a mythological Norse princess and sits in cake for perverts to masturbate to, and then they buy things off her wishlist. I realize that I just made myself a sexy teen and you guys a bunch of perverts, but overlook that for a second, will you?

Wait a minute, did anyone else see that show? Didn’t she meet a weird kinky billionaire doing the webcam stuff? Like, he was looking to jack off to her, but then he wanted an emotional connection? Oh my god, is 50 Shades plagiarized off United States of Tara too? I completely forgot what we were talking about before.

Oh, right. Anyway, I’m not emotionally blackmailing you. I’m just suggesting that if you’re in the mood for catalogue candy or emotionally distant Christmas gifts for the people in your office or family members you don’t like, that link might be handy. I think it’s US shipping only, though.

Anyway, the link I really want to concentrate on today is this HILARIOUS news, courtesy of The Guardian, in which E.L. states:

“I’ve actually written myself into the book; I play a very tiny cameo role and I might try and do that if I’m asked to … we’ll see,” she said, adding: “It’d be interesting to know if people can find me in the books.” 

I have a theory of my own. E.L. wrote herself into the book as Ana’s subconscious. I’ve solved the mystery, folks. She has glasses and a sour expression. That’s who it is. But I would love to know your theories in the comments.

The article linked above also holds this nugget in a biscuit:

“I have three people who could play Christian and I think four who could play Ana, and I’m not going to tell you any of them.”

“I have three people who could play Christian, and they’re all Robert Pattinson in Cosmopolis, and I think four who could play Ana, but I can’t tell you their names because they don’t exist because Ana is ME, DAMN YOU! ME!”

Okay, so where we last left Ana and Christian, they were in Christian’s apartment and Mrs. Lincoln, AKA Mrs. Robinson, has just shown up totally unannounced and they’re waiting for her to get out of the elevator. Ana asks Christian if he talked to her, and he says that he did, and he told her he didn’t like her going behind his back. Ana asks why Mrs. Robinson is there, and Christian says he has “no idea,” but I’m pretty sure I know why. It’s because no one in this book has any sense of boundaries.

Taylor comes in and actually announces Mrs. Robinson like he’s the Major Domo of the living room or some shit. Ana immediately feels insecure:

Why is she so damned attractive? She’s dressed entirely in black: tight jeans, a shirt that emphasizes her perfect figure, and a halo of bright, glossy hair.

Being blonde isn’t an item of clothing, Ana, you can’t be dressed in it. Also, bright glossy hair isn’t black. I always wonder how long it will take me to find the first badly constructed sentence in each chapter, and I think this one set a record by being on the first page.

Mrs. Robinson has no freaking clue why Ana would be there:

She gapes at me in shock, frozen to the spot. She blinks before finding her soft voice. “I’m sorry. I didn’t realize you had company, Christian. It’s Monday,” she says as if this explains why she’s here.

Chedward is basically like “Duh, girlfriend,” and Ana shows her up, I guess:

“Of course. Hello, Anastasia. I didn’t know you’d be here. I know you don’t want to talk to me. I accept that.”

“Do you?” I assert quietly, gazing at her and taking all of us by surprise.

Now, I understand what this is saying, that Ana matches Mrs. Robinson in a game of wits or power or something here, but I don’t see why it says that. After all, you can’t assert something quietly, can you? It would be like when Liz Lemon thought she was being bullied, and she muttered all her comebacks at the bullies. It’s not assertive at all.

 But I’m sure Ana could rock that perm. Oh, hey, look, blonde on brunette violence.

Now, Ana is plainly uncomfortable, and Elena has already been asked once not to butt in, so of course, Christian tells her to get gone.

“Do you want a drink?”

Oh. Well, he can do that, too.

Christian gets everyone wine while Ana tries to decide if she should stay for their conversation or leave.  She decides to stay, even though the entire room just dropped about twenty degrees in the space between her and Mrs. Robinson. Elena is hesitant to discuss her problem in front of Ana, but Christian makes it clear that there are no secrets between them. Turns out, Mrs. Robinson is being blackmailed, probably because there aren’t enough subplots in this fucking book already.

Let’s count them, shall we?


  1. Leila the sub trying to murder Ana and/or Christian.
  2. Ana’s boss trying to get into her pants.
  3. SIP’s takeover by Grey Holdings Inc. Transworld LLC
  4. Elena being blackmailed
  5. Mrs. Jones and Taylor carrying on a hot affair. Okay, maybe not this last one.
Now, multiple subplots aren’t a bad thing. You know, in genres like… EPIC FANTASY. It didn’t work for Twilight, it’s not working here. In both series, the subplots like a murderous ex sub or a murderous vampire are thrown in after we already know that the end game has been accomplished. We know that despite their lack of chemistry on the page, Ana and Christian are going to end up together. We know by the end of the second book that Bella and Edward are going to be together forever, but in order to spin the story out into needless sequels that don’t really add anything but misogyny and gender stereotyping, there needs to be some element of easily resolved danger. And don’t give me that shit about the Volturi being so scary and shit. All he had to do was make Bella into a vampire. It’s how the second book should have ended, and it would have had more emotional punch than watching a werewolf go through puberty and a vampire baby being eaten out of Bella’s stomach.
I’ve gone off track again, but my point is this: if your subplots are highlighting the extremely weak or nonexistent tension in your main plot, then you have a real problem with your book. If your readers are more interested in what side characters are doing, then you need to figure out what is making your main characters so not interesting, and you need to have them do the opposite of that. That’s your writing lesson for the day.
Anyway, Elena says she’s being blackmailed:

Holy shit. Not what I expected out of her mouth. Christian stiffens. Has someone found out about her penchant for beating and fucking underage boys? I suppress my revulsion, and a fleeting thought about chickens coming home to roost crosses my mind.

Why are you suppressing your revulsion, Ana? On the list of things it’s okay to have revulsion about, having sex with kids is pretty high up. Above ten, certainly. Above five, let’s say. Okay. Having sex with kids is the worst thing a person can do. So, feel as disgusted and utterly repulsed as you want, Ana. I’m on your side.

Mrs. Robinson gets out a letter, and Christian won’t touch it because he doesn’t want to get his fingerprints on it. Ana is still wondering if this has something to do with underaged boys. Ana wants to go, but Christian ain’t having it:

I try to retrieve my hand from Christian’s grasp, but he just tightens his hold and turns to gaze at me.

Creeeeeepy. Why does Ana need to stand there and hear Mrs. Robinson’s personal business? Ana tells Christian she’s tired and she wants to go to bed, but what she really does is stand in the hallway and eavesdrop. The good news is, even though Elena came over with a pretty fucking dire problem, the second Ana is ready to eavesdrop, the conversation turns to her:

“She knows me better than anyone.”

“Ouch! That hurts.”

“It’s the truth, Elena. I don’t have to play games with her. And I mean it, leave her alone.”

“What is her problem?”

“You… what we were. What we did. She doesn’t understand.”

“Make her understand.”

Whoa, what the fuck. Here the rapist (and notice, I have consistently referred to Mrs. Robinson as a rapist, commenter on the last post who tried to assert that I have some kind of blinders on to the rampant evil that is “female privilege”) is trying to make the victim apologize for his own rape to his new girlfriend. Because this book wasn’t fucked up enough.

They talk about his bad self-image for a few lines, then Mrs. Robinson says:

“Have a little faith in yourself. You really are quite a catch. I’ve told you often enough. And she seems lovely, too. Strong. Someone to stand up to you.”

I can’t hear Christian’s response. So I’m strong, am I?

Yeah, you didn’t hear literally every side character praise you for that already? Because it’s happened about sixty or seventy times, and the interesting thing is, you’ve yet to display one example of this supposed strength. It’s certainly not emotional or intellectual. I’m guessing she can lift a car over her head?

Mrs. Robinson asks Christian if he misses going into the playroom, and he kicks her out. Well, they have a boring argument in which he reasserts how much Ana means to him, and then he kicks Mrs. Robinson out. So, the entire blackmail subplot seems to have been a stupid way to try and either add tension to the plot, which didn’t work, or to give us exposition on how Christian feels about Ana, which was unnecessary. One might go so far as to put forth that for the author of a Mary Sue, it is unthinkable to go a few pages without reasserting the wonderfulness of her idealized self, but that’s only if one is slightly into snarking fanfic. Ahem.

Before Elena leaves, Christian asks if Welch should check out this whole blackmail thing. But isn’t Welch tirelessly searching for Leila the danger sub? Ana isn’t worried about that, she’s trying to make sure Elena isn’t moving in for the kill:

I listen to them bickering, trying to figure this out. They do sound like old friends, as Christian says. Just friends. And she cares about him – maybe too much. Well, would anybody who knew him not care?

Who has two thumbs and doesn’t care about Christian Grey?
When Elena leaves, Ana has to hurry to Chedward’s bedroom so she doesn’t get caught eavesdropping. But I bet Taylor totally caught her on the Taylorvision wired up throughout the apartment. Ana tries to get Christian to tell her a little more about his relationship with Elena, and it goes… not great:

I gaze up at him, trying to frame my question. “Will you tell me alla bout her? I am trying to understand why you think she helped you.” I pause, thinking carefully about my next sentence. “I loathe her, Christian. It hink she did you untold damage. You have no friends. Did she keep them away from you?”

He sighs and runs his hand through his hair.

“Why the fuck do you want to know about her? We had a very long-standing affair, she beat the shit out of me often, and I fucked her in all sorts of ways you can’t even imagine, end of story.”

Ladies, this is the romantic hero of your dreams. Who hasn’t wanted their boyfriend to say the exact same thing to them about his ex and all the hot sex they had back in the day?

After his blowup, Christian calms down a little and asks her what she wants to know. So, of course she can’t ask him now, and insists she’s not jealous:

“I’m not jealous.” I’m wounded that he would think that – or am I? Shit. Maybe that’s what this is.

That’s what this is. Mystery solved, everybody. No need to thank me.

Christian tells Ana he’s been in love with her since her trip to Georgia:

“I loved you then, Anastasia,” he whispers. “You’re the only person I’d fly three thousand miles to see.”

Whether you want me to or not.

“Ironically, it was Elena who pointed it out to me. She encouraged me to go to Georgia.”

That’s not what irony means. Also, I wonder if she did that to try and sabotage the relationship. “Yeah, I’ll send him to Georgia, see? And then she’ll get freaked out by how stalkery he is, see? And then she’ll dump him, because no dame in her right mind would keep going out with a fella who dogs her all the way to her mother’s house. Yeah, yeah, that’s the ticket!”

I think in the movie of 50 Shades, Ana should be played by Bugs Bunny in a dress.

Ana starts to think that maybe Mrs. Robinson isn’t so bad, that all she wants to do is protect Christian, and then she’s like, oh wait, she’s a child rapist. Christian tells her again that the relationship was consensual, that he subbed for Mrs. Robinson and Mrs. Robinson subbed for him, and that she has a new, totally of-legal-age sub, but he’s pretty much done discussing the subject:

“Look, Anastasia, as I said to her, she’s part of my past. You are my future. Don’t let her come between us, please. And quite frankly, I’m really bored of this subject. I’m going to do some work.” He stands and gazes down at me. “Let it go. Please.”

Yeah, Ana, let it go, because he’s bored of this particular relationship problem, even if it’s unresolved for you.

Christian tells Ana that, oh, by the way, her new car came a day early, but she can’t drive it because Leila might be hiding in the glove box or something. It’s just safer for Sawyer to follow her everywhere. Christian also puts another restriction on her work day: if she’s going to leave the building, she has to call him. He makes a jab about not being able to trust her, which is hilarious coming from a guy who keeps files on everyone he fucked.

Can we ever have a normal conversation without it disintegrating into an argument? It’s exhausting.

No shit, you should try blogging about it some time.

Ana has the fucking staggering realization that maybe moving in with someone you’ve only been dating for a little over a week might be a really stupid idea, but I’m not going to bore you with that because we all know that they’re going to end up moving in together, anyway, and it’s going to be the most perfect love ever recorded in prose.

Ana goes out onto the balcony to dramatically think about her relationship:

With a heavy sigh and a last glance at Seattle spread like cloths of gold at my feet, I decide to call Ray.

Because everyone knows that when you’re looking at a romantic vista, the first thing you think is, “I should call my dad.”

Ana calls her dad, and they chat very briefly, and it ends like this:

“Love you, Dad.”

“Love you, too, Annie.”

I hang up and check my watch. It’s only ten. Because of our discussion, I am feeling strangely innervated and restless.

She’s obviously talking about the discussion she had with Christian, but it’s phrased like she’s talking about the discussion with her father, in which he told her about a soccer match (because beer drinking, hard-fishin’, all-American sumbitches like Ray are really into soccer) and she says things are going good with Christian, and that is like, all. Which is funny. Pronoun confusion is funny.

It’s outselling Harry Potter. It’s not funny.
Ana takes a shower and puts on a fancy nightie:

In the mirror, I look like a 1930’s movie star. It’s long, elegant – and very un-me.

You can’t do that. You can’t be like, “I look like a movie star,” in one sentence, and then be all sad trombone noise of ugliness and despair in the next one. No one is buying it, Ana. Downplaying your attractiveness doesn’t make you more sympathetic to the reader, especially when you’re always doing it on the heels of telling us how amazing you look.

The library is where the pool table is, so when Ana goes looking for a book, she ends up getting all flushy at the memory of having sex in there. She also finds the ruler, which she picks up and thwacks on her palm, while lamenting:

Why can’t I take a little more pain for my man?

I’m sorry, I just rage blacked out for a second. Did I miss anything?

Ana picks Rebecca to read, and while she’s reading she falls asleep, because that is a very boring book. Well, that’s not what it says in the text, it’s just more my commentary on that book. Inaccessible and dry, and this is coming from a Melville fan, okay? But it’s kind of funny, since Rebecca is basically an AU fanfic of Jane Eyre.

Anyway, Christian has to come in and find Ana and carry her to bed, where hours later she wakes from “a disturbing dream” and hears the piano playing. Yes, again. And she goes out and watches Christian play as he sits in his “bubble of light.” Yes, again. Although Ana says:

The whole scene looks different somehow, and I realize that the piano lid is down, giving me an unhindered view.

Oh, well, if the piano lid is down this time, that changes everything, and I can totally pretend I didn’t already read this scene twice already. When he’s done playing, he looks up and says:

“Do you have any idea how desirable you look at this moment?” he says, his voice soft.

Do you mean, does she have any idea how desirable she looks in the nightgown you bought her, Christian? Thanks for propping up my theory about the “Do you have any idea”s.

“Why do we fight?” he whispers, as his teeth graze my earlobe.

Because you’re both emotionally stunted people who have no clue what a healthy relationship looks like because the only examples you’ve had are a mother who is a serial monogamist and an older women who molested you, and you’re both trying to skip over any internal growth or healing in the interest of speeding to what you view as the finish line of the relationship? This is just off the top of my head.

Of course, the author can’t acknowledge this, because it doesn’t fit in with her Mary Sue NANOWRIMO, so instead, they get hit with insta-lust and forget what they were fighting about.

“You feel so fine under this material, and I can see everything – even this.” He tugs gently on my pubic hair through the fabric, making me gasp, while his other hand fists in my hair at my nape.

Hey, no fisting. It’s in the sex contract. The pube pulling is fine, though. If that’s what you’re into.

Suddenly he rises, startling me, and he lifts me onto the piano. My feet rest on the keys, sounding discordant, disjointed notes, and his hands skim up my legs and part my knees.

Well, someone has been watching Pretty Woman while they write, haven’t they?

Is nothing sacred?

The lid is hard and uncompromising against my back. He lets go and pushes my legs open wider, my feet dancing over the keys, over the lower and higher notes.

Then he goes down on her on the piano, which so didn’t happen in Pretty Woman, so this scene isn’t like that scene at all. Except for the tortured young billionaire who wants to take over a company and build something positive, rather than destroy it. And the whole sex as a business transaction thing. And the emotional distance that seems impossible to overcome, due to the hero’s control freak nature.

Juuuuuuuust saying.

Christian gets up on top of the piano, and they fuck up there. Which is not a great idea, piano owners. Just a heads up, while those lids are strong, they’re not made to bear the weight of two idiots vigorously humping.

After the aforementioned humping, Ana tells Christian that she would have brought him coffee or tea when he was working, but she didn’t know what he liked.

“Oh, I see. Water or wine in the evening, Ana. Though maybe I should try tea.”

He only has water or wine because he’s Christ. This entire thing is an allegory for how religion beats up on women. I see it so clearly now.

The alarm goes off with the six a.m. traffic news, and I am rudely awakened form my disturbing dream of overly blonde and dark-haired women. I can’t grasp what it’s about, and I’m immediately distracted because Christian Grey is wrapped around me like silk, his unruly-haired head on my chest, his hand on my breast, his leg over me, holding me down.

I like how Christian has become the literal interpretation of an anchor, because it makes my job here a lot easier. Why does Ana consider being awakened from a bad dream being rude? Did she want to linger in her strange hell dream where other women dare to exist? But at least she’s only extending her subconscious hatred toward overly blonde and dark-haired women. If your hair is red, or light brown, or ashy blonde, you’re probably okay. But ROFLMAO to the fact that she just can’t figure out what that dream could possibly mean. It’s not like she doesn’t spend every moment of every day obsessing over all the women who might steal her boyfriend away.

When Christian wakes, Ana asks him if he still has nightmares, and if so,

“What are your nightmares about?”

Well, gee, Ana, I sure don’t know. As a toddler he was once left alone for days with the decomposing corpse that used to be his mommy. I just don’t know what his nightmares could possibly be about.

Christian tells Ana that he’s never cried before, and then Ana thinks the subject is too dark for that early in the morning, which makes me wonder why she asked in the first place. After all, it’s not like she doesn’t know Christian’s history, or that terrible shit happened to him. What did she honestly think a question like, “What are your nightmares about?” would result in?

She asks him if he has any good memories, and he spins her this heartwarming tale:

“I recall the crack whore baking. I remember the smell. A birthday cake, I think. For me. And then there’s Mia’s arrival with my mom and dad. My mom was worried about my reaction, but I adored baby Mia immediately. My first word was Mia. I remember my first piano lesson. Miss Kathie, my tutor, was awesome. She kept horses, too.” He smiles wistfully.

“You said your mom saved you. How?”

His reverie is broken, and he gazes at me as if I don’t understand the elementary math of two plus two.

Dude, you clearly don’t. You finally get him talking about happier times, and then you immediately bring it right back to, “Hey, remember when you got adopted because your real mom o.d.ed and you ended up stuck in an apartment with her dead body for days? Let’s talk about that some more.”

Christian tells her a little about his adopted mom, but says that it’s too early in the morning for this bullshit to be so deep, and he changes the subject with sex. A merciful cutaway saves us from simultaneous orgasms on command (but not from “Oh, what I’d like to do to you,” and repeated uses of “Miss Steele”), and then it’s time for breakfast with Mrs. Jones.

Ana asks Christian when she’s going to see the personal trainer (remember, that was a part of the contract, that she had to train with Christian’s “Olympic champion” kickboxing trainer, and BTW, still no kickboxing at the Olympics), and Christian says he’ll check with Andrea:


“My PA.”

Oh yes. “One of your many blondes,” I tease him.


“She’s not mine. She works for me. You’re mine.”

“I work for you,” I mutter sourly.

Well, then he’s obviously cheating on you with her. You two should break up before this book gets any longer.

Christian and Ana talk about the piano sex in front of Mrs. Jones, but they do it in an almost Navajo Windtalkers code that no one could possibly crack:

I glance behind me at the piano, savoring the memory of last night. “You put the lid of the piano back up.”

“I closed it last night so as not to disturb you. Guess it didn’t work, but I’m glad it didn’t.” Christian’s lips twitch into a lascivious smile as he takes a bite of omelet. I go crimson and smirk back at him.

Yeah, Mrs. Jones probably didn’t pick any of that up.

By the way, is anyone else imagining Mrs. Jones as Shirley Jones in Grandma’s Boy?

Just me, huh?
Mrs. Jones gives Ana her brown bag lunch, because this is the first day of kindergarten and her billionaire boyfriend can’t spare the environment and buy her a damned lunch box:

I give her a shy smile, which she reciprocates warmly before leaving the great room. I suspect it’s to give us some privacy.

Or she just wants to get the hell out of there before she has to listen to more of your barely disguised sex talk.


“Can I ask you something?” I turn back to Christian.

His amused expression slips. “Of course.”

“And you won’t be angry?”

“Is it about Elena?”


“Then I won’t be angry.”

“But now I have a supplementary question.”


“Which is about her.”

He rolls his eyes. “What?” he says, and now he’s exasperated.

“Why do you get so mad when I ask you about her?”

Is that the supplementary question, or a question wholly unrelated to what she’s going to ask and then follow up with the supplementary question? Also, why should Christian be mad at Ana for bringing up Mrs. Robinson? It’s not Ana’s fault that Mrs. Robinson keeps trying to shoe horn herself into Christian and Ana’s relationship. She’s trying to squeeze into them like a pair of jeans from her high school days she’s bound and determined to wear to the class reunion, and it just ain’t happening, but no one wants to tell her that while she’s wrenching on the zipper with forceps.


I scowl at him. “I thought you were always honest with me.”

 “I endeavor to be.”

I narrow my eyes at him. “That sounds like a very evasive answer.”

“I am always honest with you, Ana. I don’t want to play games. Well, not those sorts of games,” he qualifies, as his eyes heat. 

Let’s just take a look at Christian’s track record with honesty, shall we? And we’re going to do it with a little meme known as Scumbag Steve. Scumbag Steve, take it away!

I would keep going, but that kid’s face just makes me angry.
The entire stupid point of the entire stupid conversation is that Ana wants to be clear that he only had sex with his subs on the weekends, so he’s not used to having sex during the week. Really? We had to sit through all that, just so we could know… what, exactly? That Ana is better than all the other subs? We knew that already, by virtue of her Mary Sueness. Thanks for wasting my life, E.L..
On the drive to work – Ana can’t drive her new car because danger – Christian reminds Ana that Kate’s brother, Ethan, will be returning from the now seemingly eternal Barbados trip. Ana tells Christian that she’ll have to go back to her apartment, and he’s not real hip to that idea because danger. Ana suggests it might be easier if she had that brand new Saab Christian bought her, and he shoots that down, saying that Sawyer will pick her up and take her and Ethan to the apartment. Now, you and I both know that it’s not for Ana’s “protection” but for Christian’s peace of mind. He’s sending Sawyer along as a chaperone, so Ana doesn’t have sex with Ethan. Because he trusts her.
Christian also warns Ana that she’s not allowed to go anywhere one her own, and should call him if that need arises during the day. She’s also supposed to email him on her Blackberry, because the idiots finally figured out that, hey, you can send emails from accounts other than the monitored ones at your place of business. You know, Christian, she has a Blackberry… you could just text back and forth, too.
Then Christian gets a call from Mrs. Robinson, telling him that the blackmail letter was from her sub and part of a sex game. Well, correction, we’re never told that at all. What we get is:

“You’re kidding… For a scene… When did he tell you this?” Christian chuckles, almost reluctantly. “No, don’t worry. You don’t have to apologize. I’m glad there’s a logical explanation. It did seem a ridiculously low amount of money… I have no doubt you’ve something evil and creative planned for your revenge. Poor Isaac.”

And so on, until Ana asks who it was and Christian says she doesn’t want to know. I’ve tried to make it very clear that I’m not a professional detective, but let me just state again, in case you mistakenly attribute my keen instincts to some kind of specialized training in the field of criminal science, that even though I figured this mystery out, I am not, in fact, employed by any law enforcement agency, nor do I solve crimes for money. Shocking, I know. Here’s another mind blower: the entire blackmail subplot really was just a device to further explore how great Ana is and how Christian’s love for her is super strong. That’s it. A huge chunk of this chapter, a new subplot, and for nothing. Handily wrapped up once Ana and Christian have an opportunity to fight about it and fuck some more. You should definitely feel mind violated right now.

Ana gets in to work and chats with Claire the receptionist, who is black and therefore not a threat in the way every other woman in the story is. You think I’m kidding?

“Your boyfriend is so dreamy, Ana,” she says, her eyes glazing over.

I am tempted to roll my eyes at her.

“He’s not bad-looking.” I smile and we both start laughing.

Now, compare that reaction to the reaction Ana has had any time a white girl has thought Christian is attractive. Ana isn’t giving Claire a bitchy nickname. She isn’t criticizing her at all. In fact, she has a laugh with her about how sexy Christian is. If Claire were a white girl with blonde hair, this scenario would be a lot different, and what that tells me is that Ana doesn’t find women of color to be in her league in terms of attractiveness and man-catching abilities. Or maybe Ana doesn’t think Christian will stray across race lines, or maybe she doesn’t think women of color are worthy of her boyfriend? There really is a lot of weird racial stuff in these books, isn’t there?

Jack Hyde is super crabby, and he tells Ana to be alert for any clue as to what is going on with upper management, because he senses change on the wind. But he manages to do it in the most misogynistic way possible:

“There’s something going on at senior management level, and I don’t know what it is. Keep your ear to the ground, okay? If you hear anything – I know how you girls talk.” He grins at me, and I feel slightly sick. He has no idea how we “girls” talk. Besides, I know what’s happening.

Of course, knowing what’s happening brings up this other important point:

Oh, it’s hard being in the know. What will he do when he finds out? My blood runs cold. Something tells me Jack will be annoyed.

Something tells me your boyfriend just got you fired, and here’s why. You come to the company just before it’s purchased by Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. Water & Supply Wholesale LLC. & Co., and then it does get bought out, and you’re just working as this lowly assistant who, oh hey, happens to be dating the guy who bought the company, guess what, you look like a spy. And even though Christian owns the company, there’s really not a lot he can do to keep one specific low-level employee on the payroll, unless he’s going to obsessively monitor the hirings and firings at SIP and require his approval on each one. Okay, so that’s pretty likely. But still, once the news of this gets out, you’re still going to look like a spy and none of the people you work with are going to trust you. Congratulations, your boyfriend fucked you in the ass, this time without a sex contract.

There is a pointless exchange of emails with Christian, and then a paragraph break until lunchtime, when Jack asks Ana to go and get him lunch. Like a good brainwashed slave, Ana calls Christian to let him know that she’s leaving the building. Which he would probably have known anyway, because remember, he’s having her followed.

“Christian, Jack has asked me to get his lunch.”

“Lazy bastard,” Christian gripes.

Um, excuse me, Mr. Billionaire, who gets your fucking lunch?

They have a little conversation while Christian works:

“Are you on your own?”

“No, there are six people staring at me right now, wondering who the hell I’m talking to.” 

Shit… “Really?” I gasp, panicked.

“Yes. Really. My girlfriend,” he announces away from the phone.

Holy cow! They probably all thought you were gay, you know.”

Oh, good, I’d missed the whole “It’s a tragedy if someone thinks your gay” thing that we had going for a good clip in the first book. Also, why is she panicking? It doesn’t seem like a panic-type situation.

Christian says “Laters, baby,” and six people in the room with him hear it. So, you know, he’s not embarrassed to say that in front of people. If three of them were women, I guarantee they locked their office doors and masturbated to that.

When I exit seconds later, Sawyer is waiting on the doorstep of the building.

Really? Is he a ghost?

Ghost Sawyer accompanies Ana to the deli, while she thinks about Kate, the roommate who never returned:

I miss Kate. It’s only been two weeks since she left for her vacation, but it feels like the longest two weeks of my life. So much has happened – she’ll never believe me when I tell her. Well, tell her the edit, NDA-compliant version.

Please note, the NDA is not discussed in this book at all. So, if you picked up this book before the first one, you’d have no idea what she’s talking about. Or if you let a long time go by between books. Or if you slipped and hit your head in the shower and lost the part of your brain that remembers the first book. Please tell me, by the way, if you’re a neurosurgeon and you believe such an injury could be possible. Because I’d like to get one.

Ana asks Sawyer where he is when he’s watching her all day, and as it turns out, he’s just sitting in the coffee shop across the street, creepily watching Ana’s building. Ana asks him if he knows what Leila looks like, and if he has a picture, but he says he just remembers what Leila looks like. Since Leila and Ana look so similar, I’m kind of hoping Sawyer accidentally stun guns Ana on her way out at the end of the day.

I’d really like to examine a photograph of Leila to see what she looked like before she became Ghost Girl. I wonder if Christian would let me have a copy? Yes, he probably would – for my safety. I hatch a plan, and my subconscious gloats and nods approvingly.

This is just fuel for my theory that E.L.’s “cameo” is Ana’s subconscious. Only the author of this book would think Ana is really smart for “planning” to ask to see a photograph. Seriously, how much planning does that require? “Hey, Christian, do you have a picture of the girl who’s stalking me, so I can keep an eye out for her?” Done. No planning. But her subconscious finds this so impossibly clever, the only explanation is that the subconscious is the character E.L. admits to having been based off of herself. She spends most of the book making other characters marvel at how smart Ana is, and tells the reader over and over how smart she is, so to self-insert in order to praise Ana for her intelligence isn’t that big of a leap.

Ana takes Jack his lunch and he practically molests her with his eyes, then Ethan calls and arranges to pick up the keys to the apartment from Ana. He says, “Laters,” when they get off the phone, because it’s a fucking epidemic. If anyone you know or love starts saying “Laters,” you must isolate them immediately. If they attack, they can be subdued by removing the head or destroying the brain.

Yes, I did make a Shaun of The Dead reference, you’re welcome.

Ana emails Christian and they plan that he will pick her up from work to go meet Ethan at the apartment, and then they’ll all go out for drinks and a good time together.

I daydream briefly about what he might do to me but find myself shifting in my chair. My subconscious gazes at me disapprovingly over her half-moon specs – get on with your work.

Yeah, you see it now, don’t you.
Claire the receptionist calls Ana to tell her that a hot guy is waiting to see her. It’s Ethan, by the way.

Holy shit – sun-bleached blond hair, a tan to die for, and glowing hazel eyes gaze up at me from the green leather couch.

That’s a hell of a good-looking couch.

 As soon as he sees me, his mouth drops open and he’s on his feet coming toward me.

Are you still imagining the couch? Because I am. I’m just imagining this green couch with a tan and glowing eyes running toward her on little tiny couch legs.

Ethan gets the keys from Ana and says “Laters” twice during the entire process. There’s a paragraph break, and Ana gets a call from Christian to say he’s waiting downstairs. Then she says goodbye to Jack, who is in a better mood, and she wonders why “he” can’t be that way all the time, but I can’t tell if she’s talking about Jack or Christian, because I can’t trust context clues in a book with this much pronoun confusion.

The Audi is parked at the curb, and Christian climbs out as I approach. He’s taken off his jacket, and he’s wearing his gray pants, my favorite ones that hang from his hips – in that way.

I’ve missed those pants, as well. This entire chapter was like walk down memory lane, if memory lane was in Centralia, PA.

Sounds legit.
They pull up to Ana’s apartment building, and Christian gets a phone call that keeps him from going up to Ana’s apartment with her. This is because, in the grand tradition of this book and its predecessor, every chapter is thirty pages of pointless day-to-day bullshit, with an allegedly exciting event jammed onto the last paragraph. In this chapter, that allegedly exciting event (that everyone probably already saw coming) is that Leila is in Ana’s apartment with a gun.
And that’s the end of the chapter.

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  1. Anonymous

    I would have thought that E L would want to cameo as Ana’s inner goddess. She gets to do all the most interesting stunts.

    July 18, 2013
  2. Anonymous

    I just noticed how many of these names are from Lost. Christian, Jack, Sawyer, Ethan, Claire, Kate, etc. Anyway, Adventure Time is way awesome.

    July 29, 2013
  3. The-Great-Dragon

    So I just imagined someone actually saying “Laters, baby” and it is just the most ridiculous thing. I’m laughing so hard right now.

    October 2, 2013
  4. I take it back. Mrs. Robinson is incredibly fucked up on multiple levels. Although it doesn’t seem like she was a serial child molester so it almost makes me wonder if EL is trying to assert the idea that Chedward is so irresistible that even adult women could not resist him as a teen.

    December 14, 2013
  5. Alison

    In case anyone reading these hasn’t come up with a visual for Taylor yet, try imagining him as Bruce Campbell’s character from Burn Notice. (Yes, I realize this isn’t realistic because Ana would have called him a million years old, but I don’t care.) He’s a former navy seal who loves the ladies, and if he’s working for Grey, it’s clearly part of some undercover operation to expose the guy as a con artist. Which would explain how Christian became the richest guy on earth despite sucking at business. Now I just need to figure out where Michael and Fiona are hiding.

    But seriously, this visual/headcanon makes the book SO MUCH BETTER.

    December 16, 2013
    • Annie

      I was imagining him being more like Michael from Burn Notice. Except that he has a little daughter and is far more sweet and heart-of-gold type.

      And I know the movie already came out so Taylor already has a face, but I havent seen it and aside from Dakota, Jamie, Rita Ora, and Marcia Gay Harden (really, Marcia?! Really?! How could you break my heart like this?) I have no idea who is in it or what the characters look like.
      So, in my mind Taylor continues to be Jeffrey Donovan-esque.

      July 12, 2015
    • Sigyn Wisch
      Sigyn Wisch

      HELL YES, OMG.

      October 8, 2016
  6. tk3010

    “… and it’s going to be the most perfect love ever recorded in prose.”

    Nit Pick!

    Second. The second most perfect love ever recorded in prose. Because Twilight.

    January 1, 2014
  7. ColeYote

    > there’s really not a lot he can do to keep one specific low-level employee on the payroll, unless he’s going to obsessively monitor the hirings and firings at SIP and require his approval on each one. Okay, so that’s pretty likely.

    Eh, maybe not, his control monster might get cancelled out by his never appears to be doing any work thing.

    January 19, 2014
  8. T

    “Of course, the author can’t acknowledge this, because it doesn’t fit in with her Mary Sue NANOWRIMO”
    Ouch! As a five-time NaNoWriMo participant (who has YET to publish any of my entries because, you know, EDITING), I’ve got to say, that comment was as harsh as the notion that “Fifty Shades is bad writing because it was fanfic”.
    Be careful, there, please. Sturgeon’s Law applies to NaNo, too.

    December 6, 2014
  9. Digbette

    I know I am super late to this (hopefully you just got another flurry from Jez, of which I am a part!) but I’m a long time fanfic reader.

    These are all hilarious, brilliant, insightful, etc. I think we all know that. What I would like to say is that I am learning SO MUCH about writing here! I’ve done many a workshop, and I hesitate to admit it, but I’ve even been (kinda) published, and I am STILL reading your fantastic copy editing and thinking… ohhhhh. Riiiight. Makes sense!

    I have just, today, thanks to you, realised I have way too many subplots (and commas in this sentence?) – thank you for that. Of COURSE it makes no sense once the outcome is established. I kept wondering why I felt like my stories were so pfffft towards the end. Everything has been out of order. OUT OF ORDER!!!!

    Thank you!! <3

    February 10, 2015
  10. Kim

    ” Didn’t she meet a weird kinky billionaire doing the webcam stuff? Like, he was looking to jack off to her, but then he wanted an emotional connection? Oh my god, is 50 Shades plagiarized off United States of Tara too? I completely forgot what we were talking about before”

    Oh you mean the guy who wanted her to change how she dressed, what she called herself, and wanted her to totally abandon her family (who he decided weren’t good enough for her) and live in an apartment he would pay for and basically control every aspect of her life? So just a few similarities….

    March 25, 2015
  11. Kim

    “Ghost Sawyer accompanies Ana to the deli, while she thinks about Kate”

    …This week on Lost!

    March 25, 2015
  12. Annie

    I never know what I’m going to learn from you, Jen.
    I didn’t get the Centralia, PA reference, so like any good nerdling I looked it up. Very fascinating and lots of great pictures. I love ghost towns and near-ghost towns, but as I live in Texas, and very far from any state lines, I tend to research ones here. They’re interesting, but they tend to be the same story over and over. Either it was an oil town that got abandoned when the oil dried up or it was a pioneer-type town that got abandoned when oil became the big thing.

    I never would have been aware of Centralia without your blog, so thanks for that. Sincerely. Next time I’m on the east coast I might try to check it out, or at least ask locals for stories about it.

    July 12, 2015
    • Tiff

      Centralia is is pretty neat! I’m local and yet not – I live about an hour away. Still not close enough to know any legends or info beyond what you can find in the Wikipedia article.

      But basically, it’s creepy with a whopping side of penis graffiti. Definitely a fun adventure, 🙂

      July 14, 2015
  13. Tiff

    I love these recaps. At least FSOG and Twilight has given us this. I sometimes wonder if Smeyer and EL James aren’t actually the world’s best trolls and this is all a terrible joke.

    July 14, 2015
  14. Yvonne

    Having sex with kids is the worst thing a person can do.

    ~ Actually, RAPING kids is the worst thing a person can do. What happened to Christian wasn’t rape. And before you argue, allow me please to clarify:

    1. It is ONLY regarded as rape by law. The law says a minor cannot legally consent. Just because something is a law doesn’t automatically mean the law is right. Gay sex is still illegal, and even punishable by death, in many parts of the world. Is that justified? Hell no!

    2. Minors have sex with other minors all the freaking time, but nobody bats an eye at that. But according to law, it is illegal for minors to fuck other minors, even if both parties consent. Ever notice how NO teen mom ever went to prison for having sex underage, even though the baby she just popped out is undeniable proof that she had sex? And no teen dad has ever gone to prison either. Hell, most teen dads even get away with not paying child support!

    3. Christian makes it extremely obvious that he willingly engaged in his relationship with Elena. Fuck the law. He made the choice. She didn’t force him. Why is it okay for two minors to fuck each other consensually, but it’s not okay for an adult to fuck a minor? If one person is 18 and the other is 17, technically one is an adult and one is a minor. They could have been in a consensual relationship for the past few years, but as soon as the older one turns 18, they can be charged with statutory rape and imprisoned. Is that fair? No! Remember that in EVERY couple, one is older than the other (unless both have the exact same birthdate) and therefore becomes a legal adult before the other.

    4. Throughout human history, people under the age of 18 have willingly engaged in sexual relationships and even marriage. It was the norm, and in fact was the wisest course of action considering that most people had shorter lifespans up until the last couple hundred years. In fact, it wasn’t even until the 20th century that marriage under the age of 18 went out of style and even became frowned upon. And THEN laws were made.

    5. Where can one reasonably draw a line between acceptable and not acceptable? If Elena had been 18 when Christian was 15, would that have been okay or not? Yes, she would be an adult, but an 18-year-old girl is certainly not more powerful than a 15-year-old boy. And if you were a 15-year-old boy, you know damn well you’re not going to say no to a hot, slightly older female throwing herself at you. Remember, the law doesn’t mean jack shit, because most of us here were minors when we lost our virginity, and for some, our partners were already legal adults. It is highly insulting to tell us that we were molested or raped by the partners we love more than life itself and eventually MARRIED.

    July 20, 2015
    • khan

      “an 18 year old girl is certainly not more powerful than a 15 year old boy”
      Ummmmm depends on the girl and the boy? Are you seriously just assuming that someone couldn’t overpower someone else because of gender? SERIOUSLY?! That’s messed-up on so many levels that I don’t even know where to start. I know dozens of 18-year-old girls who could beat the hell out of 15-year-old boys. Hell, I know girls who could have done it when they were 15. You’re right that being 18 doesn’t automatically make you stronger than someone physically, but for one thing, it helps, and for another, I like how you automatically switched the genders because it proves your point soooo well because all girls are weak and all boys are horny therefore everyone else’s argument is invalid.

      I mean, I agree with your point that minors are definitely capable of wanting sex, and mutilating kittens is worse than having consensual sex with people under the age of 18. My issue is with that part of the way you expressed it, because it seems like you’re saying there’s no way an 18-year-old woman could rape a 15-year-old boy, when it definitely could happen and the 15-year-old boy would have to stay quiet about it because he’d be disbelieved and laughed at by people like you.

      Also, Jenny made a point in an earlier recap that it wasn’t rape JUST because Christian was a teenager (and, by the way, 18- and 19-year-olds count as teenagers too; little nitpick there). It was rape because Christian had a whole host of psychological issues that Elena used to manipulate him into a relationship that he most likely wasn’t ready for, where the power dynamic was incredibly imbalanced… much like it is with Christian and Ana. And it was probably abusive, since Christian said that she would have “beat the shit out of [him]” if he’d dated anyone in college. Over-18s dating minors isn’t always bad, but in this particular case it was.

      August 3, 2015
    • Corey

      You’re gross, Yvonne. And if you don’t understand why the huge difference in power and emotional maturity is the problem when an adult fucks a minor, you need help.

      April 24, 2020
    • Anon

      You are an idiot and a terrible person, one who should never, ever be allowed to either reproduce or work with or near children.

      May 17, 2020
    • A. Corbeau
      A. Corbeau

      TBH I understand Christian here. I kinda lost my virginity a similar way: when I was sixteen with a lady who was around thirty. I lied about my age, so she thought I was eighteen. Being sixteen and having sex is not illegal where I live*, but I was at a concert in a bar which was supposed to be for adult audiences only. I wouldn’t change how it happened. That she was older and knew what was up, what she wanted put me tremendously at ease. It was a good experience. It was also good that she wasn’t my first love or anything, just a hot woman from a bar, because it didn’t have to be a milestone for a future relationship, because even the thought of that would have given me an anxiety attack.
      I’m not sure about Christian ‘s relationship with Elena though. It is all just too much. Christian says she was a bored trophy wife and a friend of the family so she decided to put both her marriage and her friendship with Carrick and Grace at risk instead of idk pulling a Belle de jour act and join a high class fetish club or brothel with an alias. And then there is that she immediately jumped into the BDSM thing with him and that she is his only friend. Yeah, it’s all messed up.
      * More about that age of consent thing. When communists took over our country they introduced 18 as the age of consent and it caused a ton of trouble like a lot of laws they made without looking at things beforehand. Girls couldn’t get birth control but they didn’t stop having a sex drive so there were a lot of teen pregnancies. In the eighties they made a poll and it turned out that the average age for losing one’s virginity was sixteen. Oops. So they eventually changed the law. Now we have three stages. Under fourteen you are a child and sex is illegal regardless of consent. At fourteen we have detailed sex ed at school, talking about not only biology but also contraceptive methods, sympthoms of typical STIs and even definitions of different sexualities. Between 14 and 18 it’s a cathegory of it’s own in all sorts of laws but English has no word for it so I’m just going to say teens. Teens can have sex with other teens without breaking any law. They can marry at the age of 16 with parental consent. Teens can have sex with someone older than 18 and it’s not a criminal act, but if it’s ever found out they must visit a psychologist who tries to figure out whether any manipulation or abuse took place and if not, he gives a report that it’s okay. After 18 you can have any sort of consensual sex with any other adult, you can marry without parental consent, you can act in a porno and even become a prostitute. But you can’t marry someone of the same sex, that’s still illegal.

      November 20, 2022
  15. Yvonne

    Sorry, I should have clarified that I was personally very insulted by the fact that so many people see the Elena/Christian relationship as rape, because two of my closest friends were both no older than 16 when they started dating (and yes, having sex with) men who were both over the age of 18. In fact, one was 23 when he started dating my friend, who was only 16 at the time. The other one, I don’t remember his age, and I am too embarrassed to ask. So yes, the 23-year-old was SEVEN years older than his 16-year-old girlfriend.

    Now she’s 34 and he’s 41, and they have been happily married for almost 15 years. 15 years this November, to be precise. They have two kids and couldn’t be happier. They are perfect for each other. He’s the nicest guy in the world, and I am disgusted that there are people out there who would dare look him right in the face and accuse him of raping his wife, just because she was so much younger than him when they started dating.

    So fuck the law! If the law had its way, my friend’s wonderful husband would have spent the last 15 years rotting away in prison rather than happily married and raising two beautiful children with the love of his life.

    July 20, 2015
    • Alice

      Sorry dude, but that’s still pretty weird. I’m 23 and dating a man who’s the same age, and if we were to break up and he started dating a 16 year old, I’d wonder what the fuck is wrong with him. I’ve worked as a substitute teacher at a high school, and you can definitely tell that the young adults there need time to mature and become adults. The law agrees with me, and it’s that way for a reason. I also don’t see how you can defend the fictional relationship between Mrs.Robinson and Christian, because it was definitely not appropriate.

      Just throwing in my 2 cents. Jenny has made it clear why their relationship was wrong, and I definitely agree with her.

      August 18, 2015
    • Casey

      1 & 2. Well this is real late, but you do realize that just because it worked out well for your friends doesn’t mean that it’s okay and great for everyone else, right? Unless you’re cool with adults fucking 10-year-olds (and there are plenty of people who think that’s totally fine, so don’t think I made up an unreasonably low age to prove a point), there must be a point at which we determine that something is unacceptable. There are things like Romeo & Juliet laws and age of consent to protect against the examples you listed; adding to that the fact that consenting people don’t accuse their partners of statutory rape, I have a hard time arguing that the law is unduly hard. So if we’re talking about less than 4 years’ age difference and/or minors having sex, that’s addressed in state law.

      3. There’s a reason we don’t allow 15-year-olds to run for office, or drink alcohol, or get married without a parent’s consent: because they’re children. Yeah, Christian might’ve been all for it, but as you said, any 15-year-old boy would want to have sex with a beautiful woman. Elena took advantage of a teenager’s horniness to manipulate him into a relationship he had no way of understanding — and therefore could NOT consent to. It is assumed that people under 18 do not have the understanding, maturity, and life experience to perform certain adult behaviors, because they’re not yet adults. You might want to debate the age of adulthood, but unless you’d like to move the voting, drinking, army-joining, etc. ages all down to 15, then there’s no reason to make sex the one special exception to adulthood. Basically, “a 15-year-old boy would do it” is a terrible justification for anything.

      4. Right, that used to be the norm. As were honor killings, child labor, and the buying and selling of other human beings. As society moves forward, we tend to find things unacceptable that were previously considered just fine. And when enough people decide that the old ways were fucked up, we make laws to keep people from doing it just because it doesn’t bother THEM personally. (Again, some people are fine with having sex with 10-year-olds, and have no idea what that’s illegal. And in the past, that was totally allowed. But it sure isn’t now, and I’m sure you’d agree that it’s for a good reason.)

      5. This “where can you draw the line” thing goes in the other direction, too. When is too young? Is there such a thing as too young, if the kid says it’s okay? The law exists because we as a society agreed that people younger than 18 are not capable of consent. You — and plenty of minors — might disagree (lord knows I would’ve if I hadn’t been an awkward virgin until . . . um, the present), but that’s the way it is. There are exceptions, again, in ages of consent and certain laws, but a lot of this is wrapped up in your friend and her husband, which . . . yeah, is kinda weird. I’m genuinely happy that things worked out for them, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t creepy or that we need to encourage it in others. She was unable to consent by law; there was a danger of differing power dynamics due to a significant age difference at a time where a child’s identity is very much tied up in their age; and yes, he fucked a child.

      Also if you’re wondering why the age difference matters so much more between 16 and 23 than 34 and 41, it’s because of what occurs in the years between 15 and 25. Both a 34 and 41-year-old can be reasonably assumed to have finished puberty and are by and large in a less tumultuous emotional state than the horrible and traumatic young adult years. Therefore, they are likely less dependent on an older partner, more experienced with the sexual and emotional requirements of a relationship, and have lived long enough to know what they want in a way that children cannot. I’m not saying kids aren’t smart or mature, but they ARE kids. An adult engaging in a romantic relationship with a child needs to be aware that that’s what they’re doing. And I think it’s okay to say that, a few exceptions aside (like your friend), we should frown upon that.

      And that’s just speaking in generalities; when it comes to Christian and Elena, we have to add the fact that he was emotionally stunted by tragedy, she was a friend of his mother’s, and a whole host of other reasons that was not a consensual relationship. There’s just no defending those two.

      February 14, 2017
    • Rosemarie

      > the 23-year-old was SEVEN years older than his 16-year-old girlfriend.

      You know why 23 year olds date 16 year olds? Because other 23 year olds know what fucking creeps they are.

      October 17, 2019
    • Corey

      Good for your friends, but you know what? It’s fucking gross that your friend’s husband started dating and having sex with her when he was 23 and she was 16. Here are the facts: your friend’s husband was a loser (hence why women his own age wouldn’t date him), a creep, a predator, and a rapist. Period.

      Your friend was 16, stupid, and naive. She married the guy because he was an adult manipulating a child, and she never knew anything else. Their age difference may be meaningless now, but that relationship never should have happened at those ages. It’s gross and wrong.

      April 24, 2020
    • Corey

      Oh and by the way, you know who else has 2 children and has been happily married for 14 years?

      Mary Kay Letourneau, the woman who was convicted of statutory rape of one of her students, and her victim, who was TWELVE FUCKING YEARS OLD WHEN THEY STARTED HAVING SEX.

      So according to your logic, there was nothing wrong with that, either. A 34-year-old woman having sex with her 12-year-old student is peachy keen and healthy, because they had children and got married.

      I’m guessing your “friend” is actually you and that’s why you’re so pissed. Sorry you married your rapist. I truly am.

      April 24, 2020
    • Anon

      Like I said, you are an idiot and a terrible person who should be sterilized and barred from working, living, or even existing within a 20-mile radius of anyone under 18.

      Your “I know victims of statutory rape who are happy with their rapists” defense just proves that you shouldn’t be a part of this society.
      I bet you thought Mary Kay Letourneau was some kind of tragic, misunderstood romantic heroine and that she and her victim were starcrossed lovers who should have been allowed to build a life together.


      May 17, 2020
  16. Yvonne

    (because beer drinking, hard-fishin’, all-American sumbitches like Ray are really into soccer)

    ~ To be fair, many American men actually ARE into soccer, especially those who played on soccer teams as boys. I think this is far better than the old football fan cliché, so I have to give E.L. a tiny modicum of credit for not stereotyping Ray.

    July 20, 2015
  17. Yvonne

    “Why do we fight?” he whispers, as his teeth graze my earlobe.

    ~Because you’re fucking BITING me, asshole. You know how you guys don’t like feeling teeth on your cock when you’re getting a BJ? Well guess what: women don’t like feeling teeth on their bodies either! Especially on their nipples. Seriously, you can bite a nipple off WAYYYYYY easier than you can bite a dick off. And BTW, we aren’t actively trying to bite you when we blow you. Do you have ANY idea how hard it is to suck on even a small dick for more than one minute without your jaw starting to ache? ESPECIALLY when you’re doing your utmost to keep your goddamn teeth from even GENTLY grazing the skin???

    July 20, 2015
    • Sigyn Wisch
      Sigyn Wisch

      It’s not that difficult. But then, I do more than just sit there with someone’s dick in my mouth trying not to bite.

      October 8, 2016
  18. Yvonne

    Well, gee, Ana, I sure don’t know. As a toddler he was once left alone for days with the decomposing corpse that used to be his mommy. I just don’t know what his nightmares could possibly be about.

    ~ To be fair, most people don’t actually dream about stuff that actually happened to them, especially when they were toddlers. I mean, they don’t dream about such things on a regular basis. It’s more like 1-3 times per year, max. The most traumatic things that happened to me as a kid only invade my dreams once every 4 or 5 months, and even then I don’t flail about moaning and mumbling disturbing things. That is a completely unrealistic cliché. I should know because I have been studying dream psychology, as well as surveys of what the average person dreams about regularly.

    July 20, 2015
    • Yvonne

      Plus my worst and most frequent nightmares have absolutely nothing to do with what actually happened to me, and trust me, the reality I suffered is far more traumatic than my nightmares.

      July 20, 2015
  19. Yvonne

    When I exit seconds later, Sawyer is waiting on the doorstep of the building.

    Really? Is he a ghost?

    ~ I don’t get it. :/

    July 20, 2015
  20. khan

    Is seriously no one else imagining Ethan as a couch version of Twoflower’s Luggage? Please, Ethan, view Ana as a threat to your owner and eat her.

    August 3, 2015
    • Ann Onimuss
      Ann Onimuss

      Finally, someone who appreciates the couch! That was one of the funniest things I’ve read on here (or anywhere recently), and I laughed until my stomach hurt. Thank you, Jen, for such a perfect example of good humor and bad writing.

      October 30, 2015
  21. Breanna

    It’s actually possible to erase memories. When memories are consolidated into long-term storage, they stay there indefinitely. But when you recall a memory, it briefly exists in a labile, unstable state before being re-consolidated into long-term storage, and if something were to happen during that brief period – like a shock or an injection of a certain protein or chemical, for example – that memory could be erased.

    So, TL;DR: Yeah, it’s theoretically possible to erase your memories of what happens in these books.

    January 21, 2016
  22. Laura

    I keep cringing when someone says “I thought Chedward was gay because he never introduced me to a gf”. If Ana didn’t mention his age, you would assume that he is 35+. I mean, guy has worked up a billion-dollar company(ies), and has never brought a significant other home so the family and friends were worried already?
    But when you say he is only 27, it makes total sense (to normal people, not Ana with her “i’m special” complex). He probably has worked his ass off trying to build his company, also he is often described as very private person, so his family most likely assumed that when the time comes, he will introduce the one he intends to marry instead of brining every random chick over for mom and dad to see. He is workaholic, maybe he does not have time to see women. Maybe he does find time but does not want serious relationship now, whatever, he is 27, it’s not like the clock is ticking.
    But no, if he does not live up to the rich playboy image by sleeping everyone he sees, then he is assumed gay (until the right barely-adult woman comes along).
    Of course, I do recognise that if Ana was still 22? and so inexperienced then sleeping with billionaire aged 35+ would seem super creepy to everyone around them (also would make Ana a gold digger in everyone’s eye) and they would assume she is just a trophy wife not “the one”.

    April 22, 2017
  23. Amy

    I hate to defend James and I’m sort of not, but I have to say I don’t think the reason she treats black characters different is that she sees them as inferior or “not a threat” or has anything against race mixing. It’s more of her trying really hard to NOT be racist. She doesn’t want to show black characters in a negative light because “That would be racist” completely missing that by treating them differently based on their race she is being racist.

    She’s falling into the “trying so hard not to be offensive that you end up being offensive” trap. It’s still racist, but it’s less about feeling superior as a race and more about feeling superior on a moral/PC/”progressive” front.

    July 30, 2017
    • Cat

      I’m almost positive Eel threw in a few people of colour because she felt she had to because she didn’t want people to think she’d written an aryan utopia.

      Notice how those characters are all primarily defined by the colour of their skin? That’s not an accident. The white until coded otherwise characters get eye colour to let you know these people are definitely white, just in case the reader was worried. People of colour get “yeah, they’re black” and not really much else. They don’t even get romantic descriptions of their eye colour because in Eel’s world, brown or dark eyes are undesirable.

      It’s lazy writing to the extreme to only rely on eye colour or hair to describe a character, and fairly insulting to say to the reader “this character has dark skin” and let the reader make their own assumptions from this one and only defining aspect.

      It’s not EL James being racist, it’s EL James being ignorant.

      November 5, 2017
    • Anon

      Not to mention the fact that a decent author knows how to accurately and responsibly depict marginalized groups, and those successful depictions have nothing what so ever to do with political correctness.

      And nice try attributing James’s lazy and racist depiction of characters of color to your political opponents’ view that avoiding offensive and painful language and behavior towards people not like you is critical to a productive and healthy society.

      Your “side” has elected a racist, xenophobic, nationalist, homophobic Nazi apologist whose policies have and continue to cost human lives.

      TL; DR: Political correctness and social justice warriors aren’t the problem, bigots are. Full stop.

      May 17, 2020
  24. NerdieAnn

    Look, I know I’m like years late to this whole shindig, but whatever. Does anyone else thin it’s suspicious that Mrs. Robinson’s initials are E.L.?

    December 4, 2017
    • NerdieAnn

      Think* whoops

      December 4, 2017
  25. Athena

    Super late to the party too, but I’ve been reading these recaps and finally got the nerve to put in my two cents.

    First, the “Do you know…” thing is also positive reinforcement for Ana to do what Christian likes. He compliments her when she does what he wants so she has reason to do again, given her low self-esteem. Again, super manipulative.

    Second, the Pretty Woman similarities also include the implication that sex is better than therapy to heal the past. While done more in jest in Pretty Woman, the bathtub scene Julia Robert’s character is still saying Richard Gere could have just been having sex with her and he’d be in the same place he is now with his feelings for his father, and for such a bargain!

    May 12, 2018
  26. Anon

    I really enjoy reading these recaps! But I want to correct one thing: Ana is not EL James’ self insert. Christian is. this video “A lukewarm defence of 50 shades of Grey” explains it all quite well.
    And now back to reading!

    October 19, 2020

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