Everything was going so well! And then Kate discovered emails between Christian and Ana about their sex contract and she’s all, “What the fuck, Ana?” Like it’s anything at all to do with her.
Also, THIS IS THE FINAL CHAPTER.
50 Shades Darker
All the colour drains from my face as my blood turns to ice and fear lances through my body.
That’s a lot of shit happening at once.
“Kate! This has nothing to do with you.”
Quite. End of chapter.
She’s a beacon of hostility in a slinky, bright red dress.
Doesn’t matter what she’s wearing.
She looks magnificent.
Again, that really doesn’t matter. Unless we can only appreciate a woman’s anger by knowing how sexy she looks.
“Have you told anyone?” Christian’s voice is like a silk glove.
In which ways is it SPECIFICALLY like a glove?
Christian goes to the fireplace and sets fire to the printed emails. Alas, that won’t do anything about the ACTUAL emails, but never mind.
“What’s he done to you?”
“He hasn’t done anything to me, Kate.”
Well, he has repeatedly fucked with your head, but you seem to have decided you’re fine with it, so that’s OK.
“Ana has consented to be my wife, Katherine.”
Forsooth, prithee tell, what year is it that we speak with such formality?
“I leave you alone for sixteen days, and this happens?”
Awkwardly shoe-horning in the exact length of time Kate’s been away.
There’s a lot more, “Are you sure you’re OK? Really sure? Really really sure?” Then Kate apologises (a lot) and they leave the study for the bosom of Christian’s loving family.
And to think our evening could have been derailed by the tenacious Miss Kavanagh.
Bloody inconsiderate Kate strikes again.
He raises my hand to his lips and kisses my knuckles as we walk into the living room to a sudden, spontaneous, and deafening round of applause.
It’s like the end of Titanic, except I wish they’d BOTH die.
There’s Mac from the boat, a tall, handsome African American – I remember seeing him in Christian’s office the first time I met Christian.
Ah yes, you picked him out for special mention because he has dreadlocks.
Oh no. My heart sinks. That woman … Mrs Robinson.
What? Doesn’t everyone invite their erstwhile Domme to family gatherings?
He grabs two drinks off Gretchen’s tray and gives her a brief smile. I think Gretchen’s going to expire or swoon.
I wish she would. One less fawning idiot in the world.
Christian raises his glass and everyone surges forward. Leading the charge is the evil woman in black. Does she ever wear any other colour?
No. Because she is a caricature.
“So I’m especially glad to be here today to share with all of you my very good news. This beautiful woman, Miss Anastasia Rose Steele, has consented to be my wife.”
Oh God. Let the Ana-praising commence.
“You’ll soon be mine.”
“I am already,” I whisper.
“Legally,” he mouths at me.
Bye, feminism! Bye!
Lily looks crestfallen; Gretchen looks like she’s eaten something nasty and bitter.
Just a small sample of the women around the world who are about to go into mourning for a relationship they’ll never have. Lucky escape.
Elena is stunned – horrified even, and I can’t help a small but intense feeling of satisfaction to see her dumbstruck.
What! Taking pleasure in the misery of someone you hate? You? Kind, generous Ana? Man up. I’d be cackling like a loon.
Beside Dr Flynn is a striking young woman with long, dark, almost black hair, impressive cleavage, and lovely hazel eyes. She’s petite and pretty.
Of course she is. Wouldn’t do to have anyone plain in this world.
“That was one googly you bowled there, Christian,” Dr Flynn shakes his head.
“John – you and your cricket metaphors.”
IF YOU HAVE TO EXPLAIN YOUR METAPHORS, YOU SHOULDN’T USE THEM.
They meet Ros – the one who was in the helicopter crash with Christian – and her girlfriend, Gwen.
Ros is charming. She’s one of the few women I’ve met who isn’t dazzled by him … well, the reason is obvious.
Oh, COME ON. The only woman who isn’t reduced to a steaming puddle by Christian is a fucking LESBIAN? EL James, you’re not even trying.
I can tell that Ros is one smart woman.
Maybe THAT’S why she’s not attracted to Christian.
Mia collars me in the hallway. In her pale pink, frothy baby-doll dress and killer heels, she towers over me like a Christmas tree fairy.
I know she’s meant to be Christian’s younger sister, but she’s still a grown woman, for fuck’s sake.
Mia asks Ana’s advice. Ethan doesn’t want to date her because his sister (Kate) is going out with Mia’s brother (Elliott). He likes her but finds the whole thing too incestuous. He sounds like a bloody wimp to me and should just man the hell up.
“If you want advice, ask Kate. She may have some insight as to how her brother feels.”
What would we do without you, Ana? Full of gold that nobody else could POSSIBLY have thought of themselves.
She gives me another hug and scuttles excitedly to the door.
Now it’s Mrs Robinson’s turn to corner Ana. She calls Ana ‘missy’ and witters about her being a worthy adversary. Then she says Christian has needs Ana can’t possibly satisfy.
“If you think he’s going to be happy with a mousy little gold digger like you…”
That’s it! I throw the rest of my lemon martini in her face, drenching her.
A sour drink for a sour bitch.
Christian is standing in the doorway. It takes him a nanosecond to assess the situation – me ashen and shaking, her soaked and livid.
Gosh, I wish I had his impeccable detective skills.
“I was the best thing that ever happened to you,” she hisses arrogantly at him. “Look at you now. You are master of your universe.”
It’s the title of the original fan fiction again! Super-fans unite!
Grace, Christian’s mother, comes in and chucks Mrs Robinson out. She slaps her for good measure, then asks to be left alone with Christian. Ana runs off upstairs to Christian’s childhood bedroom. Distressed thoughts, inner monologue, blah blah. Christian comes up a bit later.
“I feel liberated.” He shrugs, then beams.
Not allowed until the next book, Fifty Shades Freed.
“Our business relationship is over. Done.”
“Will you liquidate the salon business?”
“No. I’ll gift it to her.”
Well, that was easy. All it took was horrible confrontation to get rid of Mrs Robinson.
“Have you eaten?”
“No arguing, Anastasia. If you’re going to drink – and toss alcohol on my exes – you need to eat.”
Get used to this. You’re going to marry him so you’d better start obeying early.
As the party winds down, Christian and Ana go outside for a stroll.
The half moon shines brightly over the bay. It’s brilliant, casting everything in myriad shades of gray.
EL James is really ramping up the imagery for the grand finale.
“Christian, I’d like to go to church tomorrow. I prayed you’d come back alive and you did. It’s the least I could do.”
Of all the places I thought this book would go, Ana finding God wasn’t one of them.
“I thought we might put [José’s photos of you] in the new house.”
“You bought it?”
“Don’t knock it down. Please.”
Make him angry and he might, with his BARE HANDS.
“I remember the last time you took me to the boathouse.”
He suddenly stops and scoops me over his shoulder.
“You were really angry, if I remember correctly.”
Ah yes, let’s relieve the unhappy memories.
“Anastasia, I’m always really angry.”
Christian is the Hulk!
Christian takes my hand and leads me up the wooden stairs. The attic is unrecognizable. The room is filled with flowers, mixed with glowing Christmas lights and miniature lanterns.
“You wanted hearts and flowers,” he murmurs.
I might puke.
“You have my heart. And here are the flowers.”
Yep. Definitely going to puke.
He’s sinking to one knee in front of me. From his inside jacket pocket he produces a ring.
“Anastasia Steele. I love you. Be mine. Always. Share my life with me. Marry me.”
I think he got his proposal from those Love Heart sweets.
She says yes, again. Crying happens and the book ends with the line, ‘We are meant to be.’
And there’s an epilogue!
The helicopter had been a rash and bold move. They have underestimated him. If Grey thought for one minute he’d go whimpering quietly into the dusk, that prick didn’t know jack shit.
Someone with a grudge against Grey. How unexpected.
Oh, the things he’s learned, the things he knows. Not bad for a kid from the gutter end of Detroit, who worked his ass off and got into publishing.
Looks like it’s Jack, who got fired for harassing Ana!
His chance will come. His chance will come soon.
Next summer, to be precise, when I delve into the third and final book of this incredible trilogy.
- gildius -
Thank you, everyone, for helping me through this mind-numbing book with your views and comments. You guys are what keep me going! I’ll be back with book three next year, but until then keep checking back here for book reviews, interviews and the occasional scathing analysis of bad writing.