November 2013

Bridget Jones, funny as ever

By Helen Fielding
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Bridget Jones aficionados will be thrilled that, after 14 years, there is a new installment about the adventures of this irrepressible British woman with a zest for life and wine.

They may be less enthused to find out that Bridget is no longer with her love Mark Darcy (played to perfection—and with a wink to Pride and Prejudice—by Colin Firth in the movie). I won’t ruin things by explaining exactly why Bridget is single again. Suffice it to say, she is heartbroken, and must hold things together for her two young children.

In Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, Bridget is starting over again in a dating world that has moved mostly online. Like the previous Bridget books, this one is written as Bridget’s scribbled journal entries, but she now also Tweets (often drunkenly) and texts (also drunkenly). “The fantastic thing about texting is that it allows you to have an instant, intimate emotional relationship 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,” Bridget muses without a trace of irony.

Some things never change: Bridget’s raucous old pals Tom and Jude are still around, as funny and loyal as ever, and Daniel Cleaver, Bridget’s old fling and godfather to her children, makes a few appearances to toss some of his trademark double entendres her way. But Helen Fielding, to her credit, has evolved Bridget from a navel-gazing 30-something whose biggest worry was caloric intake to a (fairly) responsible mother who is lonely and overwhelmed. It’s not surprising that Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy is deeply funny and compulsively readable. What is unexpected is how poignant it is in its exploration of love, loss and the courage to try again.

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