Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy
What do you do when a girlfriend’s 60th birthday party is the same day as your boyfriend’s 30th?
Is it wrong to lie about your age when online dating?
Is it morally wrong to have a blow-dry when one of your children has head lice?
Does the Dalai Lama actually tweet or is it his assistant?
Is technology now the fifth element? Or is that wood?
Is sleeping with someone after 2 dates and 6 weeks of texting the same as getting married after 2 meetings and 6 months of letter writing in Jane Austen’s day?
Pondering these, and other modern dilemmas, Bridget Jones stumbles through the challenges of single-motherhood, tweeting, texting and redisovering her sexuality in what SOME people rudely and outdatedly call ‘middle age’.
I read the first Bridget Jones book when I was about 14, and I remember finding it hilarious. The big pants, the “v. good”s, the Mark Darcy vs. Daniel Cleaver debate – Bridget was my first introduction to chick lit, and I was sold.
Now in my late 20s (ironically still not the age at which Bridget was in her first diary), I imagine the “waahh, I’m so fat and I need a boyfriend” struggle would irritate me far more than entertain me. But through nostalgia more than anything else, I still felt I should read the latest instalment.
Bridget is now 51, a mother of two young children, and a widow after Mark Darcy was tragically killed in an accident a few years previously. But Bridget hasn’t really changed at all. She’s still counting calories, panicking about her love life (although this time with added technology: think online dating and Twitter) and getting herself into embarrassing situations.
If you’re hoping to find out what happened after The Edge of Reason, you’ll be disappointed. Fielding mentions very little of Bridget’s married life, and Mark’s death is only touched upon – this book is set very much in her post-Mark single life. I kept expecting to finally see the aftermath of losing her husband, particularly as it includes extracts of previous diaries… but it didn’t come. Perhaps grieving and trauma isn’t what we expect from Bridget Jones, but I do believe Mad About The Boy would have benefitted from it. It almost feels like Bridget has moved on while her readers are still in mourning.
I found the story to be rather slow paced, and with an ending that seems to come from nowhere. But the book does remain true to the Bridget Jones formula that worked so well in the past. If you’re a big fan of the previous diaries and can get over the fact that Mark Darcy is no more, it’s familiar territory in the way of dating, diets and career crises. Unfortunately I was hoping for much less ‘about the boy’ and much more about Mark.