It seems to be everywhere on Facebook, at picnics, on office desks, on the tips of people's tongues and of course, on The New York Times Best Seller list and it's bonding moms and single women alike across the nation.
It's the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy penned by author, E.L. James.
Sometimes touted as "mommy porn," Fifty Shades of Grey is evidently giving women what they have always wanted and some things they perhaps never knew they wanted.
The book tells the tale of Ana and Christian (two people who are polar opposites), and the overwhelming attraction and ultimate love that grows between them.
The only hitch is that Christian, who suffered abuse at the hands of his mother's pimp as a child and later with a dominatrix during his teen years (the latter which he claims to not have been abuse), now likes to turn the tides on the women he has "relationships" with, having them sign agreements to be his submissive.
The book takes readers on a journey through some of the darker sides of intimacy and female readers are definitely enjoying the ride.
What is it about these books that has the ladies all a chatter? It certainly can't be the writing. E.L. James is no literary great. The writing level has been said to be that of a young adult a teenager even. There is much repetition of certain phrases and gestures throughout the first book that after a while, can become a bit annoying. Even so, readers are burning through all three books in five days or less, stating that they are "unable to put it down."
So what is it then that has much of the female population captivated?
I asked some of my friends this question and here is what I found out: "It took me to a place I have never been before." "The characters are what draw me into these books. I love Christian's charm, sensitivity (at times), intelligence, darkness, and possessiveness. In a way, it would be nice to have a man that is jealous all the time."
But the overwhelming response to my question was with regard to the ahem "love scenes" that are vividly detailed throughout the books and couples are having a blast reenacting them.
While we are on the subject, I would like to make the following public service announcement on behalf of all of the female readers; husbands, let it be known to you that your wives are looking for a little excitement within the marriage and strongly request, if not beg, that you please read these books!
And ladies, word has it that coming soon we may see various Fifty Shades of Grey-inspired bedding, apparel, fragrances and beauty products, lingerie and sleepwear, jewelry, home furnishings, stationary and of course adult products.
If that is not enough, all of you fans of the trilogy should be thrilled to know that Universal Pictures and Focus Features have purchased the movie rights. Who do you think would make the best Christian Grey?
Happily ponder on that for a while.
But for those of you who are thinking about purchasing one or all of the books in this pandemic-ly popular series, you may want to consider hiding it under the dust jacket of a much less eyebrow-raising novel so that you won't be turning 50 shades of red when someone asks you what you are reading, or worse yet, what it is about.