Tuesday 9 August 2016
127lbs, calories 2084 (bad), number of times thought about stopping this book 7, number of minutes spent thinking of how to start this blog 20, number of minutes spent procrastinating finding anything else to do instead of starting this blog 50.
OK, so I may have made up most of those figures for comedic effect so I could write it Bridget style, but if you haven’t read any of Jones’s stories, that’s how most days start in her diary.
What can I say about Bridget Jones Mad about the Boy by Helen Fielding? This, for me, was an incredibly slow burner.
Again, if you don’t know the previous stories of Bridget then you won’t want to start with this one – although thinking about it – you probably could just pick up the gist of what her life was like previously from it. We find ourselves with Bridget in the ‘present day’ (2013) as Mrs Darcy, only to discover that Mark Darcy (the on/off bf from Bridget Jones’s Diary and Bridget Jones’s Diary The Edge of Reason) is dead and she has two small children to bring up on her own. Oh and she has a boyfriend. This stuff was all over the press when the book was released so it’s not a spoiler.
We then take a trip back to 2012 to when Bridget is still a widow but before she has a boyfriend.
I am such a fan of the previous stories both book and film form (of course – they are not identical, I have a feeling that what happens to Bridget’s screenplay in this book is a nod to probably what happened with the film of the second book (The Edge of Reason), you’ll have to read all and watch all to understand what I’m talking about), but this just didn’t feel like the Bridget I know.
And I know that’s because she is a different person, of course she would be; she’s no longer in her thirties but now in her late forties, early fifties, she’s a widow and has two kids to look after, but she just didn’t feel ‘real’ to me anymore. Like there was something missing.
I found myself bored at all the kid dilemma anecdotes and I would put the book down half way through reading these and find something else to do, then power through until it got to another good bit. For the first half of this book, I mostly enjoyed reading it whilst I was in fact reading it, but I could easily become distracted, put the book down and not come back to it for a couple of days and then on picking it up, be relatively entertained until something more interesting came along again.
Then it got to the second half, and I felt like I knew who Bridget was again. Like I’d gotten to know the new ‘real’ Bridget and I found myself more engrossed in her story and finished the second half of the book in two days. I smiled, I laughed, I was sad and I even wanted to find out more about her children.
Not much has changed with the rest of the old gang – apart from Shazzer who has moved to America, and Daniel Clever is back but not in the way you think; which all feels a little disjointed if I tell you the truth. How has Bridget’s life changed so much but hardly in the slightest for the rest of them? Jude is still harping on about Vile Richard for heaven’s sake.
So to sum up, all in all, however much I disliked the book, liked the book, felt for Bridget in the end, I couldn’t fully recommend this book. It had that horrible feeling of being a ‘money maker’ – made for the sake of it. The world would have easily carried on spinning without this book being in existence. By all means, give it a go if you enjoyed the old Bridget stories to see where she’s at now, but it’s certainly not a ‘must-read’.
It’s also tainted my enthusiasm for the new film that’s coming out too, Bridget Jones’s Baby due for release in September. I read so much about the new film and this book being linked – but from what I can tell of the ads, they have nothing to do with one another whatsoever. Late to the party with this tidbit too, but, when reading the acknowledgements at the back of the book, I noticed that Helen Fielding had thanked both Colin Firth and Hugh Grant…but not Renée Zellweger… So I Googled it. Turns out they’re not very friendly with each other. This put the picked up from being dropped on the floor icing on top of the already stale cake for me. And now I just feel a little sad about the whole thing, when you realise that something that you love turns out to be a lie.
Overly dramatic? Perhaps. But that is my opinion, have you read Bridget Jones Mad about the Boy by Helen Fielding? What did you think? And are you looking forward to the new film?
Next up to read: The Sister by Louise Jensen
Until next time. x