I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I read lots, but I'm not a fast reader. So when I finish a book in less than a week, there is something to be said about that. I do have some complaints and agree with most that E.L. James is not the most talented writer. She repeats a lot, which gets annoying, and most of the book did seem like it was all over descriptive sex scenes throughout. However, I really enjoyed the concept - brooding "bad boy" trying to be tamed by the innocent woman he feels drawn to. I've always been a sucker for those kinds of stories and I always will be, even if the writer is not up to par with other great authors.
I do also see why a lot of women would take offense to this book as it does show the way the male society wants women to be: submissive and obedient. The same thing happened with Twilight. I am a strong, independant woman, and would not have tolerated what the charming Mr. Grey expects. Honestly, I was disturbed with some of the themes presented in this book, but rather than taking offense to that and realising it is just a book and therefore, not real, I focused on what was the cause of it all, such as the young Ana did. Once you stop worrying about how offensive some of the content is to women, it is a very intriguing book. I couldn't wait to find out what happened next and sadly I have to wait to read the other two.
I have already recommended this book to several friends. I believe people just need to form their own opinion, and as long as they don't beleive that the relationship in this book is healthy and the way they should be behaving with men (such as a lot of young girls sadly did for Twilight), I believe women can enjoy this as much as any other book they've read.