No doubt there are thousands and thousands of reviews on this book already out there, but as an avid fan of Bridget Jones I thought I would wade into the date and share my thoughts on it here on my own blog.
This is the third installment of the Bridget Jones story. There has been quite a jump in time since the end of the last one and Bridget is now not only married, but widowed with two young children in tow. The scope of this story is where we see Bridget dipping her toes into the dating market again, with the extra emotional baggage of dealing with looking after the children and grieving for Mark.
My overall impression?
I enjoyed the book, but I don’t think it was as well written or as funny and touching as the other two. It felt to me like it was either written in a rush, or Helen Fielding was out of practice at writing after such a long gap and was using this as a warm up to some more in the series. There were too many gaps for me, like for instance Bridget’s age. At the age of 51 (as she is supposed to be in this book) I think it’s highly unlikely that her children would be the ages they are. It doesn’t add up. The children weren’t very well drawn, and I would have loved to know more about them. They just didn’t seem very real for me. Also, why was Shazza not in the book? We have Tom and Jude who have been with her all the way through from the beginning, but why was the Shazza character replaced by Talitha? If their friendship had gone sour because of the whole drugs in Thailand thing then I could understand it, but for Shazza to simply be working overseas is weak and doesn’t make sense to me. It’s almost as if Helen Fielding knew the actress who played Shazza in the films wouldn’t be available to film this one in the future or something…
I’m not sure I loved Bridget in this as much as I did in the others. She is still a bit ditzy, which is lovely, but she is still as vain and vacuous as she was in book one. It’s as if she hasn’t learned a thing, despite being married and widowed and being mother to two children. It’s as if all that happened to someone else and she is just an older (and slightly wrinklier) version of the Bridget we met all those years ago. Shame really, because I would have liked to think she would have matured a bit more gracefully than she has done.
However, I did like the way the book ended (very satisfying and believable) and I liked the way the pathway formed to get there. I loved the diary-entry format of the book too. It was quite hypnotic at times and I found myself reading huge great chunks of it where I’d only set out to fill a few minutes whilst having a break from studying. There were a few laugh out loud moments (like when she got stuck up the tree with the children) and I did find myself welling up a couple of times too, especially when she was thinking about Mark and how he would have loved to see his children growing up.
It isn’t the best plotted book I’ve ever read and it certainly isn’t the best written but I did enjoy reading it.
Who are the main characters?
Bridget (obviously), her friends Tom, Jude and Talitha, Daniel Cleaver, Bridget’s children, Roxster and Mr Walliker. A nice little ensemble set of characters.
Where is it set?
It is set in London, mainly in Bridget’s house and the school playground.
Will I read the next in the series?
I would LOVE to read the next in the series! There is so much more to Bridget and her family and friends, and I hope this book will serve as an appetiser for the next stage in Bridget’s life. I would love to see her become a successful screenwriter, maybe married again, bringing up her children and seeing them grow and mature and maybe even see Bridget become a grandmother in time. I think there is much more scope for her to explore and I would plead with Helen Fielding to carry on writing Bridget’s story for us.
Would I recommend it to my friends?
I would recommend it to those who like Bridget Jones in the first place, but if you haven’t read the first two books I would urge you to start at the beginning before you read this. If you read this as a first foray into the world of Bridget Jones then you might be disappointed, but if you are familiar with the writing style and the characters from the first two books then dive right in. It is very chicklit-y but it is a very human story too about love, loss, survival and the unique ability of humans to carry on even though their hearts may be breaking.
- Review: Bridget Jones Older, Shallower and Boring (abcnews.go.com)
- Bridget Jones’ fans horror at death (bbc.co.uk)
- ‘Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy’ by Helen Fielding **** (theliterarysisters.wordpress.com)