Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Bridget Jones is Back!

Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding
Reviewed by Diane K. M.
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

When I heard that Helen Fielding had written a third book about Bridget Jones, I was a bit perplexed because I wasn't sure whether the quirky antics of the scattered, 30-something Bridget would still be amusing in a 50-something mother. But it was surprisingly fun to read about her adventures in dating and parenthood. The book made me laugh out loud several times, and I often found myself smiling while I read.

The novel opens with Bridget excited about dating a younger man and writing a screenplay, in addition to being a single parent of two children. As you may have already heard -- and which is revealed early in the book -- Bridget's husband, the wonderful Mr. Mark Darcy, was killed in an accident while working in Africa, and now she is finally coming out of her grief and depression to start dating again.

I think so many women fell in love with the Bridget Jones books (and the delightful movie versions) because she allowed us to laugh at ourselves and our funny obsessions with dieting and men and self-improvement projects. It was smart of Helen Fielding to update the story because that generation of women has matured and now has other issues to deal with, and who better to help us cope with laughter than our dear old friend Bridget?

One new thing that Bridget tries is social media. She opens a Twitter account and quickly gets obsessed with how many followers she has. She feels pressure to tweet clever things, and then embarrassment after tweeting while drunk. And when she meets a young man on Twitter she likes to flirt with, she learns how much fun texting can be:

"The fantastic thing about texting is that it allows you to have an instant, intimate emotional relationship giving each other a running commentary on your lives, without taking up any time whatsoever or involving meetings or arrangements or any of the complicated things which take place in the boring old non-cyber world. apart from sex, it would be perfectly possible to have an entire relationship that is much closer and healthier than many traditional marriages without actually meeting in person at all!"

In addition to the humor of modern life, there is also a sweet side to the story. Bridget genuinely loved her husband and was devastated by his death. Her plans for self-improvement and forced cheerfulness are so touching because she is desperately trying to be a good mum to her kids, even though she'd rather stay in bed, wallow in her grief and eat chocolate ice cream.

If you enjoyed the first two Bridget Jones books, you will probably like this one. There is humor, there is romance, and there is even a happy ending. I declare it to be v. v. good. 

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