Publisher: Random House
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“You see, things’ being good has nothing to do with how you feel outside, it is all to do with how you are inside.”
― Helen Fielding, Mad About the Boy
The much awaited return of the weight-watching, ever so awkward, zany diarist Bridget Jones is finally here! Only now, she is a 51 year old widow (with two adorable children) who is lonely, desperate, Twitter obsessed and hopeless in the new-age dating arena.
I have got to admit that after reading some of its earliest reviews, I was afraid that this book would ruin the image of Bridget in my mind, which was built after two successively engaging books. After reading this one, I couldn’t help but feel that either the extremely long gap of 15 years between the two books or the elderly and somewhat annoyingly desperate Bridget had diminished the appeal that these books held for me.
The adorable Mr. Darcy has now passed away, leaving Bridget to handle her two kids and the household. Four years after his demise, she is still mourning him. Then, she decides she has to put a stop to the self-pity and unhappiness for her children’s sake, and starts to date again while also writing a movie script (which has been a long time wish that she never found the time for). How she gets back to a normal life after years of bereavement is what the story is all about.
What most of her fans love about Bridget was how easily relatable she was. Her charming awkwardness, never ending weight issues, over analysis of trivial issues and her impulsive yet delightfully ditzy nature were some of the things every woman reader could relate to as it gave them the feel of “Been there, done that” at some point in their life. But now, she has become a tiringly desperate lady filled with self-indulgent pity, irresponsible parenting skills and a shiftlessness that makes you want to shake her and yell “Come on Bridget! Just get over it, alright?” Bridget’s two kids are great and endearing and you will love the cozy moments the three share. She fails to pick up and drop her kids to school on time, lets them watch TV all the time, cares zilch about their studies or homework, lets her nanny do everything while she is busy reading books on dating, and burns their dinner; yet all these irking antics are compensated for with the special bond she has with her kids.
The book has its little quips with the incidents involving Mr. Wallaker, Mabel’s conversations (very cute), Bridget’s friends and their dating advice, Bridget’s tweets as JoneseyBJ and a few scenes where you do get a glimpse of the sweet, quirky and optimistic Bridget that make you laugh and say “There is the girl I knew!” Just when you get tired of her antics, she stops and realizes her doings, becomes more responsible and learns to get over things, and we see traces of the independent woman she once was. Helen Fielding holds on to her diary style and language which is simple and breezy; the book is a quick read and the plot is reasonably entertaining.
On the whole, I would summarize the book as –
Days spent waiting for the book: 7,
Days spent reading the book: 5,
Thoughts after reading the book: High expectations lead to disappointment!
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