Sunday, 8 September 2013

Chapter Twenty Two

Ana gets to have a manicure and a massage as part of being in First Class, and then she sips a champagne cocktail and has the inspired idea of telling Christian about the smart young man who rubbed her down thoroughly. That’s a great idea, Ana. You spent the last chapter chastising your friend for winding up your jealous boyfriend because you were scared of the ramifications, and now you’re going to do it yourself? Why are you so stupid?

The flight attendant passes by and tells Ana she needs to stow her laptop for take-off, before offering a warm blanket for her knees. “It’s nice to feel mollycoddled sometimes,” observes Ana. SOMETIMES? Ana’s life is one long mollycoddle, from everyone in it, whether it’s Kate, Christian, Jose or this damn flight attendant.

““Cabin crew, doors to automatic and cross check.” What does that mean? Are they closing the doors?” Lord, give me strength the continue reading this book. The plane takes off, and Ana takes a sneak peek at her Blackberry. I am 100% sure they tell you not to do this in case you risk interfering with air traffic control signals? But who gives a shit about that - Ana’s demanding boyfriend has sent her an important email! 

Christian tells Ana that if she carries on making him jealous she’ll be bound and gagged in the cargo hold on her return journey. Rejoice, for romance is not dead.

Ana has a change in Atlanta, and while she waits in the departure lounge, she takes out her laptop and types a stream of consciousness email to Christian. I thought the whole book up to this point had been a stream of depressing consciousness, but I was sadly wrong. 

The email is a mess, she talks about how she’s ‘caught up in his spell’ and how she’s scared he will hurt her ‘physically and emotionally’. I can’t reiterate this enough: if you are scared that a man will hurt you ‘physically and emotionally’ you really need to get the hell out of there. No woman should have to live in fear that her boyfriend is going to harm her. She says she will scared she won’t be submissive enough for him and will end up ‘black and blue’. THIS IS NOT HOT.

So Ana finally arrives in Savannah and meets her Mom and Bob. She bursts out crying when she sees her family, for not really any reason at all, then she texts Kate, Christian and Ray. This is what it says: “Arrived Safely in Savannah. A J” Why is that capital letter there? Is this a song title? It honestly baffles me that someone with such a rudimentary grasp of grammar and the English language could have written and published not one, but three best-selling novels.

Ana and her Mom head to the beach when she arrives. “I am in my blue halter neck tankini, sipping a Diet Coke, on a sun bed facing the Atlantic Ocean, and to think that only yesterday I was staring out at the Sound toward the Pacific.” That’s sort of how planes work. You get on one, and then when you get off, you’re not in the same place that you were. It’s not really that hard to grasp.

Ana’s psychic Mom magically predicts that Ana is seeing someone and demands to know who has got her in ‘such a spin’. Ana tells her Mom about Christian (leaving out all the parts she would definitely want to know), and instead saying, “He’s wealthy… too wealthy. He’s very complicated and mercurial.” Who even talks like that? If I told my Mum that my boyfriend was ‘complicated and mercurial’ she would probably ask if that meant he was poisonous. 

Ana’s mother gives her a load of advice about taking men literally and trying not to analyse everything they say. “I gaze at my mom. She is on her fourth marriage. Maybe she does know something about men after all.” Is this supposed to be sarcastic or is this just a really bad joke? I’d say being on her fourth marriage would mean she’s probably not the best person to ask how male minds function.

When Ana gets home she logs into her email account to check if she has a reply from Christian. She does. It’s like eighteen pages. Front and back. 

He wonders why she has to put a country between them before she can start to be honest about her feelings, and I wonder if anyone, anyone in this novel has considered the fact that Ana is not mature enough to be entering into the agreement she’s signed up for.

“I don’t know how to answer your comment about feeling like a whore,” it says in the letter. “I know that’s not what you’ve written, but it’s what you imply. I don’t know what I can say or do to eradicate these feelings. I’d like you to have the best of everything. I work exceptionally hard, so I can spend my money as I see fit. I could buy you your heart’s desire, Anastasia, and I want to.” So… you want her to completely submit to you in a sexual way, you want to reward her with expensive gifts and a lavish lifestyle, and you don’t want her to feel like a whore. Right, gotcha.

He goes on to say that in a dom/sub relationship, the sub has all the power. I’m not sure if he believes this or is just using it as a tool to convince Ana what she’s doing is fine. “I want to share my lifestyle with you. I have never wanted anything so much,” he says. Interesting choice of words. If this were a romance novel, it would most likely say ‘I want to share my life with you’, but this is a novel about materialistic desires and submitting to powerful men who can provide for them in a financial way. So it’s ‘lifestyle’.

“Holy crap,” thinks Ana. “He’s written an essay like we’re back at school – and most of it good.” Like we’re back at school! Why can’t the references to being a child stop?! There are ways that a woman can be portrayed as innocent and virginal without constantly likening her to an actual child. Ana has a huge epiphany about Christian’s essay and realises that spending four days without him will be sheer hell. She falls asleep at her laptop salivating at the idea of Christian just being his abusive, domineering self. Yech.

When she wakes up, her Mom says that they’re going for dinner. Ana puts on Kate’s grey halter neck dress (KATE’S DRESS. KATE’S. NOT ANA’S, KATE’S. If I was Kate I’d get pretty sick of my best friend not owning a single piece of clothing of her own). She emails Christian a little and they get talking about sex, because there hasn’t been nearly enough about bums and spanking in this chapter so far, and then she heads down for dinner.  

Mom: “You look lovely, dear.”
Ana: “Oh, this is Kate’s dress. You like it?”



There is literally not even any point in the paragraph, except to point out once more that Ana is wearing Kate’s dress. We don’t even get to see what they chat about at dinner because the next moment, Ana is stood in the shower about to get ready for bed. She has an email from Christian she must reply to first. They chat for a while and Christian tells Ana that he is having dinner with an old friend. Predictably, Ana loses her shit. “Searing, green, bilious jealousy courses through me unexpectedly.” She wants them to have a healthy relationship but he’s not allowed to have any friends. Sure, okay, that makes sense.

Ana tries to cool herself down by Googling Christian (as you do) but eventually ends up sending him an email asking if he was having dinner with ‘Mrs Robinson’, his ex-dom.

“Part of me is desperate to know more, and another part wants to forget he ever told me. And my period has started, so I must remember to take my pill in the morning.”

I’m not even kidding, this is how this section of the chapter ends. I get she’s going for realism but THIS IS TOO MUCH.
Ana spends the next evening sipping on cocktails with her Mom, who dispenses a lot of great advice about men. And by ‘great’, I mean ‘absolutely fucking useless’. “You see, Ana, men think that anything that comes out of a woman’s mouth is a problem to be solved. Not some vague idea that we’d like to kick around and talk about for a while and then forget.” What?! Try to make sense, I implore you.

When Ana’s Mom goes to the ‘powder room’ (nobody says this anymore), Ana checks her phone to find an email from Christian confirming that yes, he had dinner with his friend and ex-dom, ‘Mrs Robinson’. “I am away for two days, and he runs off to that evil bitch,” muses Ana. It is interesting to note that when Christian is the sub, the woman who played the dom is labelled an ‘evil bitch’; what does that make Christian when he is the dom? In Ana’s eyes, I’d say that makes him fairly evil.

Ana sends a snarky email back, and here’s the kicker. Christian responds saying, “This is not something I wish to discuss via email. How many Cosmopolitans are you doing to drink?”

Holy fuck, he’s here, thinks Ana. MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY.

The man has followed her on her private holiday to visit her mother. He has secretly got on a plane and followed her, possibly for the entire 48 hours she’s been in Georgia so far. He has STALKED HER.

I think we'll finish here for today.


  1. Omg.... hahahahahaha, you're cracking me up! xD
    One doesn't know whether to laugh or cry whilst reading that book... It's sooo unreal.
    Anyhow... pls continue, for this is the only way for me to really read this book xD - via your witty reviews :D

    p.s. you have a colleague out there -

  2. I haven't read the book. The Wikipedia "plot" was enough to convince me not to read it!!
    But you are an absolutely genius, and this blog is so bloody hilarious!! :D
    Thankyou for doing this, truly!! Pls continue....

  3. Yes you've written more! I love this so much, I don't think I could get through more than a paragraph of this story so well done you...