So there we go, I read (i.e. listened in audiobook form) Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, the third and most recent Bridget Jones book. I am not used to reading a book so soon after it is released. I am usually at least a year behind as I have to wait for the library to get a copy, then wait for it to cycle through all those on-the-ball people who put holds on it before I did. I was second in line for the audio book 😉
I went into the book completely oblivious to anything other than it being Bridget Jones 10 years later. My sister offered to tell me the big plot reveal she regretfully overheard in an interview, but I declined. I am not sure that I am glad or not.
I’m going to go ahead and throw up the spoilers alert now. Although, the big shocking reveal is given away within the first three chapters. Nonetheless, I’d hate to ruin it for anyone.
Mark Darcy is dead to begin with. It’s as though Helen Fielding knew she had her readers taught by the heartstrings and decided to pull the crap out of them. Again and again, your heart is broken as you follow Bridget Jones through years 4 and 5 after being widowed, now raising two small children on her own. Rather than summarizing plot, I really just want to give my critique, because I’m dying to talk about it and so far don’t know anyone who has read it also.
- Helen Fielding robbed the readers of what we all really wanted — to see Bridget and Mark living happily ever after. We wanted to see Mark as a husband and father. How can Colin Firth even be in the movie?? She robbed us of more Colin Firth. There had better be lots of flashbacks with Colin Firth.
- Nonetheless, it was fun to see a grown up and only slightly more mature Bridget Jones grapple with small children, carpool lanes, twitter and botox. The series, after all, is about her. It would be an entirely different Bridget if she were happily married. We wouldn’t really see the Bridget Jones we know and love deal with the trials of middle age, if she were unconditionally loved and supported by well-adjusted Mark Darcy.
- Ultimately I feel like it was just a reprisal of Bridget Jones’s Diary. Fielding just added in the heartbreak. Instead of play-boy Daniel, it’s toy-boy Roxter. In place of stoic, lawyer Mark Darcy, it’s stoic, soldier Mr. Wallaker; complete with romping sex, misunderstandings and misplaced resentment, illumination and regret, then finally
the kiss in the snowkiss in the pub.
- Either way, the new book is hilarious. I consider myself a Bridget Jones fan, and I did enjoy seeing her all grown up, as it were. Still she called on her merry band of (now full professional) drunkards to help her sort out the latest crisis and still she cannot help but spoil every outfit she’s wearing. But middle aged Bridget is a more mature narrator. She still puts her foot in her mouth, but it’s not as awkward or painful to watch as in previous books. Maybe I just better relate with mom-Bridget than perpetually-single-Bridget.
- Finally, I think it was a fun read, enjoyable and a fair installment to the Jones saga. Ultimately it is about her, and not her and Mark so I guess we have to get over it. Blowing him up in the Sudan leaves little wiggle room to bring him back from the dead 5 years later. I’d rank Mad About The Boy above The Edge of Reason, but still below Bridget Jones’s Diary.
- If you’re a Bridget Jones fan, you’ll enjoy the new book. If you’re not…what are you doing reading the third book anyways?
- If anyone’s asking, I think Daniel Craig would make an excellent Mr. Wallaker, although this might prevent his shooting a boudoir scene with Judi Dench.