Nobody was looking for Twilight. A Mormon housewife writes a young-adult novel about a love affair between a teenage girl and a vampire?
Is this Anne Rice lite? Not in the eyes of the teenagersand their motherswho have embraced the book.
But Stephenie Meyer's Twilight does raise some questions, and I've asked them. "You really want your teenage daughter to live inside the story of a girl who lies to her parents, invites a boy to sleep in her bed and trusts him not to take advantage of her?"
These women look at me as if I'm insane. "But she can trust him. He really loves her. He's...perfect."
In an era when much of the romance genre has been given over to soft porn, and dark fantasy is peopled with one-dimensional characters bent on grim violence, many readers have become hungry for pure romantic fantasylots of sexual tension, but as decorous as Jane Austen.
Meyer, 34, did not calculatedly reach for that audience. Instead, she wrote the story she believed in and cared about. She writes with luminous clarity, never standing between the reader and the dream they share. She's the real thing. Still, who'd have thought it? Today Mr. Darcy is a vampire.
Card is author of Ender's Game, Empire and Women of Genesis
Next Tyler Perry