Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy - Helen FieldingBridget Jones: Mad About the Boy
Helen Fielding

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.

Rating:


About Nikki

Nikki is 28 and lives in sunny Wales with her husband and their crazy dog. She is a self-employed writer and stationery designer, and she enjoys shopping, rubbish television and sleeping more than is really necessary – although she’d quite happily do nothing but read for days on end. http://about.me/nikkiann

6 Comments

  1. Posted 06/01/2014 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Ohhhhh dear. I’ve had this on my TBR list since it came out. Looks like I’ll have to put it off a bit longer… I’ve not heard great things about this one.

    • Posted 06/01/2014 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      I’ve seen some very mixed reviews – some people love it, but others have been very irritated by the fact Bridget hasn’t “grown up”. I’m not sure if growing up is a realistic expectation, but I do wish Mark’s death wasn’t brushed under the carpet quite so much. I felt like I cared much more about that tragedy than the fact Bridget’s 30-year-old toy boy hadn’t text her back.

  2. Posted 06/01/2014 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Hmm.. I was very excited about this coming out until I found out about Mark dying. It’s a shame that Helen Fielding didn’t take a chance and show a more vunerable and grown up Bridget.

    I can’t imagine someone being so over their husband after a couple of years and ready to move on so quickly, particularly when your relationship was so lovely, like Marks and Bridgets.

    I’ll probably read it eventually, but I’m in no rush.

    Great review btw :) x

    • Posted 06/01/2014 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      I agree that it’s a shame. The book is OK but I feel like it could have been so much more!

  3. Posted 06/01/2014 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    I felt similar about the book, and also gave it 3 stars over on my blog. It was flawed, but had some funny moments.

    • Posted 07/01/2014 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      Just read your review – I could definitely see Bridget as a mummy blogger!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>