Oh, Bridget Jones, how much I was looking forward to meeting you again. How sad that our third and hopefully final encounter was so tepid .
Rewinding the clock for a brief introduction to the series
For those too young to have known Bridget Jones, she is the feisty dating heroine of the late 90s. The author Helen Fielding wrote Bridget Jones’ Diary and it’s sequel The Edge of Reason in a form of hilarious diary entries. These books were bestsellers at the time and spawned a whole new genre of British chick-lit.
The third book Mad About the Boy is out now. In this book, the protagonist Bridget Jones is in her early 50s, a widow (sob!), and struggling to bring up her children all by herself while trying to battle her loneliness and grief.
However, this book is not a sad story. It’s more of how Bridget overcomes her troubles with the help of her friends, hefty doses of alcohol, and the proverbial British take it on the chin, get up and go attitude.
Thoughts on this book
I loved the book, in parts. The book starts off really slow and as soon as I started it, I knew it was going to be a very uneven read.
Things start to liven up when Bridget starts a Twitter account and meets a young man (boy really) online there. Fun tweets between them soon turns to texting, and a serious love affair blooms between the two. This is by far the best section of the novel. The chemistry between Bridget and her boyfriend Roxster is smoking and the banter between the two is hilarious.
However, unfortunately for this book, this doesn’t last very long, and we are soon introduced to Bridget’s actual real love interest. And unfortunately for all of us, he is pretty dull. The romance between the two never really goes beyond standard romance novel clichés.
If the other parts of her life were handled better, the book may still have been salvaged. There is a running sub-plot about Bridget’s attempts to become a screenplay writer, which was never covered adequately enough in my opinion.
Towards the end, the last 50 pages or so are pretty random with nothing much happening to drive the plot towards the ending. You just have some random meetings where nothing much happens and Bridget moons around moping about her missed opportunities with the hero. Pretty boring stuff, it was almost like Helen Fielding suddenly lost interest in the plot, and just wrapped up everything very neatly at the end.
I did like some things about the book though. It was nice to see that Bridget Jones had matured a little bit. The old Bridget Jones would not have had the determination to lose the weight like this 50-something woman, nor did I see as much of the constant cigarette smoking here. I also liked how tough Jones was in painful situations. Basically, Bridget Jones has evolved as a character. There are some really silly diary entries, but the overall image that I got was someone who had grown a backbone, while still retaining parts of her old self.
However, that wasn’t enough to salvage this book for me . My expectations were probably too high, but when I compare this book to another similar one I read a couple of years back Anybody Out There? by Marian Keyes, the latter is the far superior book.
Huge thanks to Penguin Random House for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.