This is a pretty unique book. Based partly on the 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon but mostly on a prophetic picture Shannon Ethridge received, it’s a review of what sexual fantasy is, what it does, and whether it is (or can be) good or bad.
First things first. Although the front cover of this book claims it to be ‘A response to the 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon’, it definitely isn’t. If you’re looking for something that takes the series and essentially concludes on whether to read it or not, you won’t find that here; Ethridge clearly dislikes it but doesn’t go so far as to say ‘don’t read it’, and barely talks about it (there’s probably no more than a couple of pages on it in the entire book).
So that’s misleading, but the book isn’t really about that. It’s about the fact that almost everyone has sexual fantasies, and what we should do with them. She’s careful not to be judgmental yet at the same time not to ‘allow’ it, and I think does a reasonably good job of talking about something that the Church simply doesn’t talk about. She’s particularly strong on understanding why we have particular fantasies, how we ought to respond to them, and how they can be redeemed for the good of our marriages and for the glory of God. I thought the chapter on pornography was one of the strongest I’ve read.
That said, I didn’t love this book. In her desire to not be too left-wing or right-wing I found her at times to sit on the fence and simply not communicate; at one point she seems to suggest that someone who fantasizes about violently raping a child should tone down the fantasy by increasing the age of the child and by imagining that the child enjoys it rather than getting pleasure from another’s pain. To a certain extent I can see where she’s going (one step at a time seeing our fantasies becoming those of us loving our spouse better) but I felt that she stopped short of saying that clearly enough, which left me thinking a reader could justify their fantasies. I also felt that she wasn’t as strong as I’d hoped when talking about fantasies regarding incest or homosexuality.
If you’re really squeamish or are feeling offended by some of the content of this review, this book probably isn’t for you. At points the book goes into perhaps a touch too much detail which is appropriate within the context but to my mind would restrict this book to married couples.
Overall, if you want a good, honest, biblical look at sexual fantasy you can’t really go wrong with this one. It wasn’t outstanding so I’d normally go for four stars but the fact that the Shades books were barely mentioned and the minor frustrations I had with it I’m having to go three stars this time.
I got this book for free from BookSneeze.com. I’m not required to give a positive review.