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50 Shades Freed chapter 19 recap, or “I did not see that coming.”

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In the links department, today we’ve got two from Thea K. The first is an entry from her own blog, The Editor’s Notes, highlighting 44 Reasons Twilight is Better Than 50 Shades.

The next is a blog called Yes Means Yes!, which given our discussions of enthusiastic consent around here seems to be pretty on topic, even if it’s not expressly 50 Shades related.
Okay, onto the recap, which is another short one because this chapter was basically thirteen pages of nothing.
Ana’s father has just woken up from a coma upon hearing that the Seattle Sounders have lost a game. That’s pretty much all I can say about the first page of the chapter. Ray is awake, he doesn’t remember the accident, and he wants some water. That’s it.
One the next page, Ana tells Christian that Ray is awake and not remembering stuff, and Christian’s response is:

“That’s understandable. Now that he’s awake, I want to get him moved to Seattle. Then we can go home, and my mom can keep an eye on him.”

This was one of those things where I read it, and then I thought, “Goddammit. There are so many things wrong with this, I won’t hit all of them. My brain will just cramp up and I’ll start watching Merlin to soothe it.”
Where does Christian get off making care decisions for his wife’s father, without being asked? It was stepping over a line when he got his mom and some other doctor to take over Ray’s care- I’m not sure he can even legally do that without being Ray’s medical advocate- but now Ray is awake, from what we’ve seen his cognitive functions haven’t been affected… why is Christian Grey making medical care decisions for him, then? Oh right… because Christian Grey knows what is best for everyone, and he has a pathological need for control in situations he has no business trying to control.
We know that Christian controls Ana completely. How far does this control extend, though? I can’t imagine being in a situation wherein my husband could make a lofty proclamation about one of my family members’ medical care and I would go, “You know, he’s right, we better do what he wants, instead of what [family member] wants, or what other members of my family who are closer to this person might want.”
Ray didn’t marry Christian. Ray didn’t choose to have Christian breeze in and control his life. But that doesn’t matter. In the world of 50 Shades, if you have any interaction with Christian at all, he owns you now. He makes the decisions, and he runs the show. It doesn’t matter if you’re his parents, his friends, his brother’s girlfriend, or someone who just works with his wife and never actually meets him. He runs everything about your life from the moment he becomes even accidentally aware of it.
This is sociopath behavior.
To Ana’s credit, she doesn’t just roll over this time:

“I’m not sure he’s well enough to be moved.”

“I’ll talk to Dr. Sluder. Get her opinion.”

“You miss home?”

“Yes.”

“Okay.”

I’m sorry, did my phrasing mislead you guys? I should have been clearer. What I meant to say was, “To Ana’s credit, she doesn’t just roll over this time. It’s more like a barrel roll as she spirals toward the ground, possibly slamming through a barn or a windmill or a fireworks factory. Anything flammable, really.” Damn what Ray wants, Christian wants to go home! That means Ray is going to be moved, even if it’s medically unsafe.

Oh, you’re right, he’s going to talk to the doctor first. You know, the doctor he’s paying, the one who’s chummy with his mom. He’ll talk to Dr. Sluder and tell her what her opinion is, and then Charlie Ray will get moved.

Ana and Christian go back to the Heathman, where she immediately forgets about her father, who has just come out of a coma that she was super duper worried about:

“Shall we celebrate?” he asks as we enter the foyer.

“Celebrate?”

Your dad.”

I giggle. “Oh, him.”

I just… what? Your father just woke up from a coma and you forgot on the drive back to the hotel? I… what? Or is it just that you don’t feel it’s something worth celebrating?

They do celebrate, in the creepiest way someone possibly can celebrate the emergence of their father from a medically induced coma. They have sex.

But first they have dinner, and I have to pointlessly snipe about this:

“That was delicious,” I murmur with satisfaction as I push my plate away, replete for the first time in ages. “They sure know how to make a fine tarte tatin here.”

I read that line and suddenly had an image of Laura Prepon’s character from How I Met Your Mother in my mind. Also, I have a theory that tarte tatin was invented on the spot by a cook who dropped an apple tart on the floor.

“That’s the most I’ve seen you eat the entire time we’ve been here,” he says.

Her father has been in the fucking hospital in a fucking coma, remember? I mean, I know she doesn’t remember, but you surely must? That shit affects your appetite.

“I was hungry.”

He leans back in his chair with a self-satisfied smirk and takes a sip of his white wine.

Why is he self-satisfied? Was he in the coma? Did he put Charlie Ray in a coma to make Ana want to eat for the first time in three goddamn books? Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad she’s eating so we won’t have to continually hear about how alarmingly thin she is from not wanting to eat as some kind of last grasp at anorexia as an escape from your overwhelming need for control, but seriously, how are you taking credit for this shit?

Unless he’s read the last page of this chapter, and he knows what’s up.

The plot thickens.

So now it’s kind of a watery broth.

Christian asks Ana what she wants to do now that she’s stuffed herself with fancy dessert:

Reaching across the table, I grasp his hand, turn it over, and skim my index finger over his palm. “I’d like you to touch me with this.”

Keep that line in mind as we continue.

Christian pulls Ana into his lap and says:

“I like having unfettered access to you.”

Unfettered is a weird word choice, considering he ties her up all the time. He ties her up in this scene, too, which makes it even stranger.

“Don’t bite your lip,” he whispers, then rises suddenly with me in his arms. I gasp and grab his biceps, fearful that he’ll drop me.

That would be hilariously extreme BDSM right there. But why is he still telling her not to bite her lip? I’m starting to believe she has Lesch-Nyhan syndrome, and he’s seriously concerned about it.

Christian uses belts from the hotel bathrobes to tie Ana’s legs to the sofa, so she’s sitting up and spread-eagle.

“You have no idea how hot you look right now,” he murmurs and rubs his nose against mine.

I feel like I should write E.L. James a thank you note for improving my writing. I’m sure I’ve had a hero tell a heroine that she has no idea how hot she looks before, and after these books, I’ll never do it again. Because every time Chedward says that to Ana, I think, “How do you know what she knows, bitch?”

Christian changes the music:

Immediately, a sweet, almost childlike female voice starts to sing about watching me.

Oh, I like this song.

Just in case you missed the author’s habit of infantilizing Ana, now Ana is doing it herself during sex scenes. “Oooh, we’re going to listen to a child-like voice while fucking! That’s so hot, because I’m a fucking child myself!” But I looked up E.L.’s YouTube playlist, and this song… it doesn’t really match the description. If you want to listen to it, it’s here. And it’s pretty good. But the chick has a voice like Amy Winehouse at 7:30 in the morning. It’s not child-like at all. Which kind of makes the description of the song against the context of the scene more disturbing.

Remember when Ana asked Christian to touch her? Now that he’s got her legs all tied open, he wants her to touch herself. I’m torn on this scene. On the one hand, it’s not all that unusual for a Dom to tell a sub to do it her/himself, especially if the Dom is making the sub wait as part of the game. But this just seems like another instance in which Ana wants something, sexually, and Christian doesn’t deliver because his ideas are better.

On top of that, we have to remember that Ana has never masturbated before. When she first has sex with Christian, she’s never done anything sexual, ever, including getting herself off. She touches herself with his body wash in the shower once, but she doesn’t come. I can’t remember a single scene of her just getting off without his help or command in any part of these books so far. So it bugs me that when she finally does touch herself, she makes like, two circles around her clit with her fingers, then this happens:

Grabbing my hands, he bends down, running his nose and then his tongue back and forth at the apex of my thighs.

and when she tries to touch him, he says:

“I’ll restrain these, too. Keep still.”

And then he makes her come by fingering her and telling her “surrender,” which obviously she does, because with no orgasm training at all, she comes at his command. The “child-like” song, Ana’s reluctance to masturbate in front of him or at all, ever, and the fact that when she does finally touch herself down there, he restrains her hands and makes her come on command, makes this entire scene just… it’s fucking gross.

After Christian does her doggy-style over the couch, this conversation happens:

“I think we should go again. No clothes for you this time.”

“Christ, Ana. Give a man a chance.”

I giggle and he chuckles. “I’m glad Ray’s conscious. Seems all your appetites are back,” he says, not disguising the smile in his voice.

Swoon. Amirite or amirite, ladies?

Then they talk about stupid bullshit I don’t care about:

“And I think there’s a lot that’s sweet about you,” I murmur, referring to the song still playing on repeat. His smile fades.

Oh no.

“You are,” I whisper.

 You ah!
Just before the section break, Ana tells Christian:

“I am going to fuck you with my mouth.”

And then after the section break, she’s all:

“Good morning,” I murmur shyly from the doorway.

How do we get from “I am going to fuck you with my mouth” to “shyly?” Timidity born of shame over one’s sexuality is NOT ATTRACTIVE. I don’t care how many copies of these books sold to women who believe that. They are fucking WRONG. It’s not cute and adorable. It’s gross.

Christian tells Ana that a detective wants to come to talk to her about Jack Hyde. Then there’s a section break, and Ana is visiting Ray in the hospital:

“Dad, you’ve been in a major car accident. It will take time to heal. Christian and I want to move you to Seattle.”

No, Christian wanted to move him to Seattle, Ana. You didn’t.

“I don’t know why you’re bothering with me. I’ll be fine here on my own.”

So, Charlie Ray doesn’t want to move to a different hospital. Glad that’s settled.

Charlie wants coffee and donuts, so after a break, Ana tells Christian they need to go get coffee and donuts.

This chapter is gripping, y’all.

Christian tells Ana that detective Clark will be in Portland at four to talk to her, and to take Taylor on the donut run. Ana rolls her eyes, so you know what that means:

“There’s no one here.” His voice is deliciously low, and I know he’s threatening to spank me.

In the ICU waiting room. Which is, of course, the perfect venue for D/s spanking games. Way to know when shit is appropriate, you two.

The spanking doesn’t go down, though, because:

I am about to dare him, when a young couple enters the room. She is weeping softly.

She, singular, is a couple, two people, and both of them are weeping from their giant, fused eye.

My dad is in the hospital! 
There’s a section break, and Detective Clark has arrived at the Heathman. He wants to talk to Ana alone. Good luck with that, pal. This portion of the scene reads alarmingly like a battered woman’s visit to the ER:

“Anything you wish to say to my wife, you can say in front of me.” Christian’s voice is cool and businesslike. Detective Clark turns to me.

“Are you sure you’d like your husband to be present?”

I frown at him. “Of course. I have nothing to hide. You are just interviewing me?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“I’d like my husband to stay.”

Christian sits beside me, radiating tension.

All that’s missing is the detective asking if anyone “helped” her walk into the door.

Detective Clark tells Ana that Hyde is alleging she made “lewd advances” toward him while she worked for him at SIP.

Oh! I almost burst out laughing, but put my hand on Christian’s thigh to restrain him as he shifts forward in his seat.

I really, really want Christian Grey to punch a cop.

Well, not really. Because he would just buy the police force and fire the cop for letting his face get in the way of Christian’s golden fists. I should rephrase: I want Christian Grey to punch a cop in the real world. And then I want real world consequences to ensue.

Shit, he could just buy his way out of that, too.

Jack told the police that Ana sexually harassed him and was after his job. And Christian responds to this news in the guiltiest-sounding way possible:

“Detective, please don’t tell me you have driven all this way to harass my wife with these ridiculous accusations.”

That sounds like something the murderer would say on Midsommer Murders.

Detective Clark tells them that they’ve spoken to some of Jack Hyde’s past personal assistants, but they only had good things to say about him.

“We’ve had that problem, too,” Christian murmurs.

Oh? I gape at Christian, as does Detective Clark.

“My security chief. He’s interviewed Hyde’s past five PAs.”

“And why’s that?”

Christian gives him a steely glare. “Because my wife worked for him, and I run security checks on anyone my wife works with.”

She wasn’t your wife at the time, Captain Fucko. You ran security checks on your girlfriend’s new boss and then bought the company because you couldn’t stand the thought of not being in completely control of yet another aspect of her life. But I’m sure the police are totally cool with you having an investigation of your own going on. Especially when you’re acting all suspicious and weird toward the cops when they’re just doing their job.

Christian wants to know why Jack hasn’t been charged with attempted murder in the helicopter sabotage. Ana thinks:

What?

But I thought she already knew that Jack was suspected in the Charlie Tango crash. I’m pretty sure they talked about it before.

“We’re hoping to find more evidence in regard to the sabotage of your aircraft, Mr. Grey. We need more than a partial print, and while he’s in custody, we can build a case.”

“Is this all you came down here for?”

 Clark bristles. “Yes, Mr. Grey, it is, unless you’ve had any further thoughts about the note?”

Note? What note?

“No. I told you. It means nothing to me.” Christian cannot hide his irritation. “And I don’t see why we couldn’t have done this over the phone.”

You know, so Ana wouldn’t overhear any other details she didn’t know about the case against the guy who broke into her home to try and kidnap and rape her. If I were detective Clark, I would be suspecting that Christian hired Jack to murder Ana. He’s acting like a total lunatic and hiding a lot of shit from her.

After Clark leaves, Christian suggests they go see her father and arrange the move to Seattle for the next day. Yup. Two days out of a coma after internal bleeding, brain swelling, and cardiac arrest, still in the ICU, let’s move this patient for convenience.

“He was adamant that he wanted to stay in Portland and not be a bother.”

“I’ll talk to him.”

Section break.

The follow day Ray is examining his new surroundings- an airy, light room in the rehabilitation center of Northwest Hospital in Seattle. It’s noon, and he looks sleepy. The journey, via helicopter no less, has exhausted him.

NO SHIT. YOU THINK MOVING A GUY WHO HAS JUST HAD MASSIVE INJURIES FOR WHICH HE HAD TO BE PUT INTO A MEDICATED COMA MIGHT BE WORN OUT BY AN UNNECESSARY TRANSFER VIA AIRLIFT? WHO COULD HAVE POSSIBLY GUESSED THIS?

But it all works out, because Charlie Ray has seen the way, the truth, and the light of the Gospel of 50 Shades, which is that Christian Grey is always right about everything, all the time:

“Tell Christian I appreciate this,” he says quietly.

“Hey, Christian, I really appreciate you forcing me to switch hospitals against my wishes after my nearly fatal traumatic injuries.”

Ana tells her dad she’s going back to work, and she leaves him some newspapers to read. So, “Hey, dad, we’re moving you to a totally different city so we can be close to you. Now that you’re here, I’m leaving! See ya!”

As she leaves the hospital, she runs into Dr. Greene, her gynecologist.

“Mrs. Grey, how are you? Did you get my message? I called earlier.”

“No.” My scalp prickles.

“Well, I was wondering why you’d canceled four appointments.”

Four appointments? I gape at her. I’ve missed four appointments! How?

Because you keep canceling all of your appointments. Forget visiting the doctor, how are you even doing your job?

Dr. Greene is going to give Ana her birth control shot, but first Ana has to take a pregnancy test.

Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit.

In case you didn’t get it the first four times, shit.

How could I have let this happen… again?

WHOA. HOLD THE FUCK UP.

What does she mean, AGAIN? Did they get pregnant before and we just skipped over it? What the hell does this mean?

And then Ana finds out she’s pregnant, and the chapter is over.

56 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous

    The thing that stands out most for me is how many times Ana 'whispers' things. I get that EL James is going for 'said' synonyms, but consider how many conversations (at parties no less) in which Ana whispers. In real life, the conversations would be Mia/Kate/Christian/etc going “Huh? What? What'd you say? Can you speak up?”

    Also, I went back and reread all the recaps over the last week and a half. I'm going to miss dis shit when it's over. Though here's to book 4, which is going to centre around the pregnancy and how wanton and sexy it makes her feel and book 5, where Christian pushes Ana into sex when she's trying to care for their kid, or them having sex while listening to the baby fuss on the baby monitor to really bring that infantilizing thing full circle.

    July 8, 2013
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  2. Jo
    Jo

    Oh, my God, Jen, how do you manage not to die of absolute boredom and indignation while reading this shit? This sounds as exciting as watching the grass in your garden grow.

    July 8, 2013
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  3. Anonymous
    Anonymous

    lmfao “how could I have let this happen again” what?!

    oh my god what a mess

    July 8, 2013
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  4. Lesch-Nyhan syndrome-oh, I love it!! You're totally right about that- all this lip-biting has GOT to be a disease!

    I have missed these recaps. I know you feel like you're losing brain cells with every read-through (I feel that way, too, actually), but I hope you continue!

    July 8, 2013
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  5. Anonymous
    Anonymous

    And the murmuring these fuckwits do, do not get me started! When I read 'murmur' I imagine someone purposely hushing and slurring their words so people around them don't hear it correctly. With all the murmuring in these stupid books it's no wonder people can't communicate for crap.

    July 8, 2013
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  6. “But it all works out, because Charlie Ray has seen the way, the truth, and the light of the Gospel of 50 Shades, which is that Christian Grey is always right about everything, all the time”

    Awesome quote! By the way, no way this is Charlie! Charlie had too much integrity and would've never accepted this.

    Awesome, as always, Jen.

    July 8, 2013
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  7. Anonymous
    Anonymous

    I think by “again” she means messing up her birth control. Didn't she forget to take the pill or something in the first book? Or between the first and the second book?

    And good lord, this reminds me of Ana being super-confused as to why her boss was angry at her when she was late, emailed around with Christian, didn't do her job, etc.

    July 8, 2013
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  8. I love your recaps! I do. However, I can sort of sense your irritation growing with each passing chapter. I almost get the mental image of your eyes glazing over and rolling back in your head or something. I read these books once and felt like that. I love your tenacity in finishing these recaps no matter what. I also wanna give you a hot cup of tea and pat you on the back for comfort, awkward Sheldon Cooper style.

    July 8, 2013
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  9. Anonymous
    Anonymous

    Could someone explain to me why Ana's name is considered to be such a bad name? I've read this is some of the reviews for these books. Why is it a pon-star name?
    English is not my native language, maybe that's why I don't get it ^_^

    Laylee

    July 8, 2013
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  10. I think the porno suggestion comes from the fact that her last name is Steele, which is apparently a common last name in porn pseudonyms. I dislike Ana's name, however, because it's Anastasia, and then she complains about other characters having European-sounding names. Which makes zero sense.

    July 8, 2013
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  11. Anonymous
    Anonymous

    God, I miss Taylor! Where the hell is Taylor? Just doing donut runs?

    July 8, 2013
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  12. Anonymous
    Anonymous

    So, a female voice sings about watching her and she likes it?
    More evidence to the 'Ana is a closeted lesbian'-argument, methinks.

    July 8, 2013
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  13. It was in the first third or so of FSD. She went off the pill because she'd just broken up with Christian, and after they got back together, they fucked a few times before she went back on it.

    July 8, 2013
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  14. Anonymous
    Anonymous

    The way this book is going, I think I'm starting to suspect Christian of sabotaging her birth control, by keeping her so “busy” she forgets to go. Even though he insisted that she get on it in the first place. By setting her up to mess up, he now has another reason to hit her!

    July 8, 2013
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  15. Allie
    Allie

    Twilight lost me at “My grandma is horrifying and gross and disgusting because she is old,” since I actually love my family (I think that was at the beginning of book 2). I think this book would have lost me at “I don't give a shit about my dad, lol he is/was comatose,” because I actually love my family. I'm torn between “E.L. James should read A Grief Observed or something to get some kind of realistic idea of how normal people deal with the fear of/the actuality of losing people they love,” and “Wow, Ana is a really shitty person.” I'm going to go with all of the above.

    July 8, 2013
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  16. Anonymous
    Anonymous

    While I can understand your reluctance to waste any more of your life on this horrible series, please know that your recaps are SO appreciated. I laughed so hard at this one that my one merged “giant eye” could not stop tearing up. Jen, you are the BEST!!

    July 8, 2013
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  17. The fact that people are reading this equivalent to EL James eating a dictionary and shitting random words onto a page makes me sad. That they LOVE it makes me weep. That there's going to be a film has made me despair for the future of humanity, to be honest. So much woe.

    I need to go back to watching Doctor Who and perv over David Tennant some more now, in order to heal myself. Props to you Jen for reading this crap so we don't have to. 😉

    July 8, 2013
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  18. I feel like I should write E.L. James a thank you note for improving my writing.

    So true! These books are like a carcrash course in grammar alone. I can't tell you how many dangling participles and messy prepositional phrases I've weeded out of my own writing since reading these hellish word salads.

    July 8, 2013
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  19. Wanted to tell you that I am going to go see that 50 Shades of Gray parody called Spank! Friday. I will let you know if its any good.

    July 9, 2013
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  20. “It was stepping over a line when he got his mom and some other doctor to take over Ray's care- I'm not sure he can even legally do that without being Ray's medical advocate-“

    Nope. Getting hospital privileges requires more than just getting permission from a random doctor. In addition to needing to be cleared by admin and insurance handled, but medical licenses don't automatically transfer from one state to the next. You might have heard of someone called Octomom, and how her fertility doctor lost his medical license. Right now he can't practice in any other state…because he hasn't applied. If he applies, he'll be able to practice somewhere else. He can't just cross the state line. Christian's mom can't just cross the border either. I highly doubt she's licensed in multiple states. That would be the first step to getting to go from a Seattle hospital to OHSU. This stuff doesn't happen with a few phone calls. It takes time. It takes more time to get hospital administration approval and everything else set up. I guarantee you OHSU wouldn't risk their world-class status and state approval to even operate as a hospital just because some rich guy wants his mommy to go take over his property's father's care.

    In fact, I doubt they'd approve that transfer. The risks of someone so recently after a coma with such severe injuries would be very risky. He is still hurt enough to be in intensive care. Moving someone merely out of some rich guy's preference would put a ton of liability on OHSU.

    “”Christ, Ana. Give a man a chance.”
    I giggle and he chuckles. “I'm glad Ray's conscious. Seems all your appetites are back,” he says, not disguising the smile in his voice.”

    With how that's written, you'd think at first she's the one glad Ray's conscious.

    Mouth-fucking followed by donuts. I hope Ana got the cock-and-balls. ctrl+f that here: http://voodoodoughnut.com/doughnuts.php Cream-filled tip pand balls. James didn't know about VooDoo though. She totally missed a chance to make a local reference that everyone in the entire PNW would get in two seconds flat, if it took that long.

    I guess Doc Greene just carries around Depo and pee-tests.

    It's so obvious James had given up by this point. This chapter is terrible, even by the low standards she's already set.

    July 9, 2013
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  21. Grab some tissue. You're going to cry when you find out what's said when the second baby moved during sex, and grab a bucket for the sensual-finger-sucking of a toddler. Don't say I didn't warn you….

    July 9, 2013
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    • Yeah, that remark – I know which one you’re referring to – made me go WHAT THE HELL DID I JUST READ?

      I like to think I’m liberated, not too easily-shocked, but that? That was just eww. Very Jacob-imprinting-on-Renesmee…

      Ick.

      July 16, 2013
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  22. I feel despair over how many people say these are the best books ever and are about such true love and how Christian changes so much. Um, no he doesn't. He's still the same self-centered jerk as always, including threatening a severely injured man into switching hospitals because being in Portland is an inconvenience.

    July 9, 2013
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  23. Her book on how to write could should consist only of:

    Do NOT do anything I did in the Fifty Shades trilogy.

    July 9, 2013
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  24. There's also the fact that in some circles, Ana means Anorexia, and with how Christian hounds Ana to eat… cue Karen Carpenter.

    July 9, 2013
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  25. Anonymous
    Anonymous

    I also can't help but notice “Anastasia rose steel” sounds like a subject-verb-object sentence, and given that erections “rise”, and, like steel, are hard… yikes.

    July 9, 2013
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  26. “EL James eating a dictionary and shitting random words onto a page.”

    That is the most accurate description of these books I have seen. Ever.

    I'm making my way through A Song of Fire and Ice trying to keep my own brain cells intact.

    July 9, 2013
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  27. I agree. What the hell is with all the murmuring? Speak up for God sakes!

    July 9, 2013
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  28. That reminds me, I need to go take my birth control.

    July 9, 2013
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  29. First Time Caller
    First Time Caller

    I've always loved these recaps, but I have to give you particular credit for:

    “The plot thickens.

    So now it's kind of a watery broth.”

    I laughed ridiculously hard at that!

    July 9, 2013
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  30. Anonymous
    Anonymous

    Agreed. I've learned so much from these recaps.

    July 9, 2013
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  31. Anonymous
    Anonymous

    Hi Jen

    I can't tell you how much I love your recaps. Your writing is the only thing that can make me laugh when I am too depressed about my problems. The Boss was excellent. Love you.

    July 9, 2013
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  32. Always whispering? It just makes me think Ana's always scared or something… Gee, I wonder why that is… >.<

    July 9, 2013
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  33. Anonymous
    Anonymous

    I keep being stunned at how accurate a description of how a relationshipwith a controlling, abusive sociopath would be! :-O
    The scene with the cop is just… wow!
    I'm waiting for the day that EL James announces 'ha! You all fell for it! This wasn't a romance novel'

    July 9, 2013
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    • I’m actually dreading that–I keep thinking that someday, she’s going to come out and say, “that wasn’t a romance novel–that was me making a cry for help because I’m in an abusive relationship” or something.

      January 12, 2014
      |Reply
  34. Anonymous
    Anonymous

    'She, singular, is a couple, two people, and both of them are weeping from their giant, fused eye.'
    Hahaha!
    And shouldn't that be 'the woman with the tacky red lipstick was weeping softly' followed by some shit about her staring at Christian?

    July 9, 2013
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  35. Anonymous
    Anonymous

    I thought Kelly Anne was playing the role of Ana, with an icon of bending over. I've never seen an emoticon like that, but that is what sprung to mind lol

    July 9, 2013
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  36. Daisy
    Daisy

    I swear I think that Jenny posted a guest blog by someone who went to see it recently (Jenny is my source for all things 50 Shades).

    But a friend of mine just posted about 50 Shades! The Musical:
    http://50shadesthemusical.com/tour/

    July 9, 2013
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  37. Daisy
    Daisy

    Don't forget about her dyed blonde hair.

    July 9, 2013
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  38. Anonymous
    Anonymous

    That is what I like to think. These books are just a big social experiment and EL James is an actress.
    Either that, or humanity is doomed.

    July 9, 2013
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  39. And her inexplicably European hairstyle. The bitch!

    July 9, 2013
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  40. I have nothing to add except for the fact someone from a local charity shop has just collected 4 boxes of books as donations, and I managed to hide the 50 Shades trilogy amongst them. I’m free! Free, I tells ya!

    You’re a braver woman than I am, Jen, reading this again. I can’t resist your recaps but I keep coming across serious WTF sections of these books (basically anything between ‘chapter one’ and ‘the end’) that makes me think I must have blacked out the horror as I read them myself.

    July 16, 2013
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  41. I would like to thank you so much for doing these recaps. I couldn’t stand reading Twilight and tried to read Fifty Shades of Grey but didn’t last through the first few pages! I used your chapter recaps to read and I did read 19-26 plus epilogue in an actual book. I wrote treatises based on fifty shades.

    July 16, 2013
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  42. Win_Rawr
    Win_Rawr

    When I got to the part where Christian was all “I’ll talk to him” about moving Ray, I raged so much. It seems like a small thing to fixate on, but how fucking arrogant to be like “He said no? Oh, I’ll convince him to do what I want” because a) Ray is NOTHING to do with you Christian, so stop going ’round making decisions about his healthcare for him and b) Ray was ADAMANT he wanted to stay. If Ray has made up his mind that he wants to stay in Portland, then that’s that. You don’t fucking go “talk to him”, you accept his choice. Which was HIS choice to make, not yours or anybody else’s.

    July 30, 2013
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  43. ONE thing I can say is good: I totally forgot about that song and have now been reminded. Which is cool because it’s a nice song. But I still feel like it’s a little unclean after being included in this playlist. Sigh.

    September 17, 2013
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  44. TokenOfficeGoth
    TokenOfficeGoth

    Man, tarte tatin is a) delicious b) much easier to make than apple pie and c) leave the tarte alone dammit!

    That is all.

    December 15, 2013
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  45. kg
    kg

    Despite any of the more pressing issues, I was shocked that Christian was wearing black jeans.

    December 17, 2013
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  46. Megan
    Megan

    I just realised that Ray and Carla are Renee and Charlie. That is, Ray’s name is a stand-in for Renee and Carla’s name for Charlie. I was wondering about that, because most of the names somewhat resemble their Twilight counterparts, at least those of the more minor characters. Not always in an obvious way, but you can still tell who they’re supposed to be. Elliot/Emmett, Amelia/Alice, Jose/Jake, Andrea/Angela, Carrick/Carlisle, Clayton/Newton and I believe Lily, Mia’s “bitchy” friend, was probably Lauren. I can’t remember the other names, but I’m sure most characters follow the super obvious name system.

    What does make me laugh is that E.L. doesn’t even know the source material that well. I mean, in the original fanfic, for whatever reason, she puts the two blonde assistants at the very start of the series as Jessica and Angela… who were not blonde in Twilight. I’m pretty sure I remember reading that Jessica had curly black hair and that she wore glasses, and that Angela was a brunette. If I remember right, Lauren was the only blonde girl in Bella’s original group of humans. So E.L. isn’t even familiar really with the material she was ripping off, if I as someone who only read the first book and a half can remember those details and she can’t. They’re not even blonde in the film, they’re both brunette.

    May 12, 2015
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  47. Yvonne
    Yvonne

    Grabbing my hands, he bends down, running his nose and then his tongue back and forth at the apex of my thighs.

    ~ Jesus tapdancing Christ, just say “between my legs”! How scandalous can that possibly be? “Apex of my thighs” has become just as annoying as “there.” And Ana, you are definitely NOT smart enough to know what “apex” means. Not by a long shot.

    I giggle and he chuckles.

    ~ What we have here is sexism at its most subtle. Ever notice how only female characters “giggle”? The only male characters that giggle are ALWAYS either little boys, very effeminate men, or clearly insane men. I have read many, many books in my life, and this is a strong recurring theme in all of them. Even the effeminate and insane male characters still rarely “giggle.” When they do, it is blatantly being used to convey that there is clearly something “not right” about them.

    “And I think there’s a lot that’s sweet about you,” I murmur, referring to the song still playing on repeat. His smile fades.

    Oh no.

    ~ Oh no WHAT, Ana? You sound like you’re literally expecting him to go apeshit and beat you senseless. But even YOU know Christian, for all his awfulness, isn’t THAT bad. Yet. And I stress “yet.” All that’s left is for me to assume that you’re worried that somehow you’ve upset him, and your poor little heart simply can’t take the thought of Christian being upset. GO FUCK YOURSELF, ANA!!! I am SO goddamn SICK and tired of reading “Oh no” and “Crap” and “No!” all the time. FUCK CHRISTIAN’S FEELINGS!!! FUCK THEM IN THE ASS!!! CARE ABOUT YOURSELF FOR ONCE!!!

    “Anything you wish to say to my wife, you can say in front of me.”

    ~ Um, no. Just no. This is all kinds of wrong. If anything, it should be Ana saying “Anything you wish to say to me, you can say in front of my husband.” Just… fuck off, Christian. Fuck off before the abuse alarm bells deafen us all.

    August 16, 2015
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  48. Late
    Late

    I love how the detective came there to interview ANA, was forced to have her husband sit in, then Christian answers literally every single question for her while glaring at her if she dares to attempt to speak. And then the detective just leaves.

    Because you know, realism.

    September 6, 2016
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  49. ARIADNE
    ARIADNE

    Okay, so I finally figured out what ELSE bothers me about Ana.
    She reminds me a lot of people I knew when in college my first go-round. I was dealing with some really heavy shit about my childhood, and it seemed to get several of my friends way more interested in my life…at first. I mean, they were interested in a way like ‘let me take this opportunity to talk about how my stepdad making intrusive comments about my body, which my mom stopped with one conversation with him, because that’s basically the same thing as you being sexually assaulted your whole childhood.” Or like-being fascinated with me, because my trauma made me more interesting than they were and they wanted to be interesting in the way I now was, and figured being close to me was going to accomplish that.
    But, like-it was pretty much skin deep. I had a lot of conversations with people like “hey, I’m not great at boundaries right now because I’m really self-involved, so if you’re having an issue JUST FUCKING TELL ME and I will listen.” So my friends nodded and smiled and said for sure they would do that, then proceeded to get hella pissed off at me “taking advantage” of them by, like, asking for things I should somehow have intuited they did not want to give, and then not interpreting their “yes” as the “no fuck off” that it actually was.
    I mean, seriously–like several people decided I was not worthy of being their friend anymore because they did not get up the nerve/bother to say that they were no longer okay with giving me what they had once been okay with giving me, and how dare I not somehow magically realize this.
    I just think Ana is under the impression that Christian’s “stuff” makes her more interesting. So now she HAS to have him in her life, because she’s never been through abuse or seriously suffered and so she can’t claim victim status. Thanks to him, she now can–but ONLY so long as she avoids recognizing this is an abusive relationship, and does not leave.
    I’m not saying I was abusive-I was not!-but just that in my experience there have been a lot of people, particularly young white women from relatively privileged backgrounds, who badly WANT something tragic to happen to them. In their minds, pain and tragedy are romantic and interesting, and even beautiful. So they like-manipulate their situations and lives such that this is what happens, or at least they frame what happens to them so they can claim that this is what is happening, and then get hella freaked out when the results don’t feel like they wanted and expected to feel…and blame everyone else for somehow “victimizing” them.
    I just think-I mean, i understand Christian’s confusion. He’s obviously traumatized and not thinking clearly about sex and relationships, but she’s not communicating clearly either. We the readers hear her thinking “I’m scared” all the time, but she’s told him that like once. She keeps pretending everything is fine, and telling him how much she loves him–and they both know by now that “him,” at least right now, is an abusive and misogynistic asshole. So she’s like-telling him she likes those parts of him, or at least that’s what he hears.
    I also just flat-out have trouble believing that any real live woman who’s managed to get through college and lived away from her parents’ house and everything, and dealt with her father’s death, would be completely ignorant about all things sexual and totally seemingly unaware of the extent to which men can be misogynistic assholes. I mean, how did she get through her LIFE up until now?

    March 25, 2017
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