I love Bridget Jones, from her giant knickers to her familiar ability to always say the wrong thing at the wrong time. I have read the first two books more times than I could even count and will watch the films whenever they happen to be on good old ITV2. It makes sense, then, that when I heard Helen Fielding was releasing a new Jones’ adventure, I was giddy with excitement! I couldn’t wait to hear about her married life to sexy Mr Darcy, and was dying to know if she ever ended up with children. Everything was going great. Until I saw a newspaper supplement that told me in bold black and white that Mr Darcy was dead and Bridget is now 51, alone with two small (but adorable) children. I was left reeling. Bridget was supposed to be in her twenties with me. Maybe thirties. Certainly not 51! And Mr Darcy! I am not ashamed to admit that I welled up at the thought of Mark being dead. Throughout treading this book, I honestly had to cling on to my own Mr (W)right as my heart broke again and again for Jonesy – Why couldn’t we just have a Happily Ever After story?! Aside from the heartbreak and pain, I actually found the book clunky and a bit awkward. As Bridge tries to navigate 21st Century life, Twitter, and sexting and the like, it seems as though ‘modern’ references have been shoe horned clumsily into the story to ensure it stays ‘current’. The whole thing seems a bit flat, lacklustre and honestly, a little tragic. Sure, Bridget is all about running after a man, and this story is no different, but none of the men in the story are Mark, and they never will be. Speaking of Mark, his death is never really explained, only vaguely mentioned that he was killed doing some noble work – it seems like a ‘clever’ plot point to make sure that our heroine is left needing a man once again, but without ruining the romance of the previous books with a bitter divorce. Even Bridget’s relationship with her caricature Toy Boy is not sexy or romantic, it is a little uncomfortable to read. Not necessarily because of the age gap, but the way it is written.It rarely takes me this long to read any book – particularly a Bridget Jones story, but I just found it all very hard to get in to. I wanted to love it so much, but I just… didn’t. I’m sorry Bridge. I am going to remember you as you were, and blank this whole sorry escapade from my mind,
PS. There is one wonderful scene involving children and diarrhoea. It’s potty humour and slapstick, but it’s real and hilarious and weirdly adorable.
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