I just finished Stephenie Meyer's Breaking Dawn which, like the first three novels, I read in less than 24 hours. But even as I continue to read and buy her books, I find myself increasingly discombobulated. There are so many things to like. The deeply romantic "girl-gets-swept off her feet by two knights in shining armor' plot. The fact that 'Bella is loved because she exists - not because she does everything right - and deep down this is what we all want -- to be loved for our very existence', as Janna pointed out; being loved for our very existence should be (I believe is) an inalienable right. And yet, believing as I do -- in the importance of moving ourselves to the center of our life story, I've found myself in a surprising love/hate relationship with Meyer's books.
I sort of deserved it, but it stung nonetheless. One of our vendors (I'm purposely being vague) recently invited me and several other clients to sit in their box at a Celtics game -- nope, not a championship game. In making small talk, one of the fellows asked me if I were a hoops fan. I could have given several different answers. Like, Yes, I really enjoyed going to games when I was younger. Or, No, not so much, but I've enjoyed seeing the Celtics' have a winning season. Both answers would have been true. Instead, I said, "Well, I WAS a cheerleader in high school". To which he responded, "And, now you're a cheerleader over at Rose Park." Weeks later, I'm still stung.
After reading my post about Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Series, Amy Sorensen and I exchanged several e-mails in which Amy shared that her dream right now is to do precisely what she's chosen to do: be a full-time mother. She shares her story below:
In responding to "An 'A' or an 'F' on the Galadriel test?" in which I discussed my love-hate relationship with the Twilight trilogy, Amy S politely queried if I would feel as I do had these books been penned by a man? Specifically, she asked, "Is there more to your view than expecting more of people because we know their beliefs? Does it goes back to your discussion of what it means to be feminine? Perhaps your ideas about women and ambition are broader than you had supposed. That it's not just about large-scale power, but rather any time women move outside of perceived guidelines our society squirms?" A is for Amy, anomaly, and Amy is absolutely right.
I recently read Stephenie Meyer's vampire trilogy, Twilight, Eclipse, New Moon, the story of 17-year-old Bella Swan who moves to the small town of Forks, Washington to live with her father, and becomes drawn to Edward, a pale, mysterious classmate who seems determined to push her away. But neither can deny the attraction that pulls them together…even when Edward confides that he and his family are vampires." To say I read these books is an understatement, inhaled or devoured are more accurate. After picking up a copy in the Cincinnati airport around 6pm on a Saturday, I began reading Twilight immediately, proceeded to read until 3am, and had finished all three books by the following Saturday. Most of my friends and acquaintances read the trilogy quickly as well. I couldn't help but use the descriptor "intoxicating", with the realization that the archetype of Western romantic love (girl and boy meet, their love is inevitable, immutable) continues to be a myth that we love and live by. Apart from not being able to drink deeply enough from these books, which is only marginally relevant to 'dare to dream', the fact that in the third book, Bella importunes, even begs, Edward to make love to her, is. I know this appears to be a non-sequitur, but stay with me.