"Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy" by Helen Fielding
Chick lit’s favourite heroine is back! It’s been 15 years since we first fell in love with Bridget Jones and life is very different for her now. A widow, she is raising two children, working on a screenplay, trying to figure out all this new technology, and jumping back into the dating pool. But somethings never change - her fabulous friends are still by her side, she’s still struggling with her weight, and still keeping a diary.
In Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, Helen Fielding introduces us to a 51-year-old Bridget who obsesses over the number of Twitter followers she has, embarrasses herself in front of the teachers and other mothers at school, and in the biggest surprise of all, is dating a 29-year-old name Roxster. We’ve waited a long time for her return, the question is, is she still the same Bridget we all fell in love with?
First things first, the spoiler heard round the world that had everyone up in arms - Bridget is widowed, Mark Darcy having died a few years earlier. That’s a tough one to get over but the more I read and the more I thought about it, she just wouldn’t have been Bridget if she weren’t dating. And I actually think that Fielding did a good job with how she wrote it. Bridget is coaxed back into the dating world by her friends, a world that now heavily features internet matchmaking sites and text conversations. Yes, I would have loved to have read about Bridget and Mark married. I certainly was looking forward to it. But I guess I'm not as upset about the way things turned as others are. Things are a little bit more serious in this book but it doesn’t take away from the light-heartedness.
Her kids, Billy and Mabel, are sweet, her new friends are lovely, and yes, Daniel Cleaver is still around. The book is written in the same diary format as the previous ones and Bridget’s unique tone is still loud and clear.
There were a few things I couldn’t get past though. Obviously texting would factor heavily into the book, however, at times there was a little too much of it for me. I don’t mind texts included in books but entire conversations through text is a little too annoying for me to read. And while I loved the way Bridget obsessed over her Twitter followers and sending out the right tweets, I found it very annoying that a 51-year-old woman was sending out tweets declaring things to be “totes amazog.” There were moments in the book that felt that even though her commitments in life had become grown up, Bridget hadn’t. And while it’s cute when the character is in her 30’s, I would have expected that ten years as well as being married to Mark Darcy would have matured her just a bit more.
I know a lot of people have been disappointed by this book. I think sometimes when we wait too long to revisit a character, we’ve built things up in our heads so much that we end up disappointed no matter what. It’s the same feeling I had when I read Revenge Wears Prada. Maybe nothing would have lived up to the original. I still think that if you’re a fan of Bridget’s you should pick up this book. I enjoyed reading it, catching up, and seeing how her life had changed (or stayed the same.) And there were quite a few laugh out loud moments. To me, she is still our little Bridget.
I received a copy of this book courtesy of Random House of Canada. The opinions expressed above are my own.