And done. I’m not sure why so many people had such negative responses to the books. I thought this was an interesting follow-up, almost 15 years later, to Bridget Jones’s Diary and The Edge of Reason. The characters are 15-ish years older and so is everything else: technology, their worries and their troubles. I wasn’t sure how the frazzled frankness of the first two would translate into a different world completely, but I thought it worked.
Unfortunately, I did find out ahead of time what happened in the novel before I read it so it wasn’t as much of a draw dropping moment as it could have been. In all honesty though, it wasn’t that much of a plot twist when you think of everything that could happen in the span of 15 years! All of this being said, there will be spoilers after the cut so don’t read past the break if you don’t want to know what happens!
Okay, let’s rip the band-aid off. Mark Darcy dies. He dies a horrible death doing his international peace work, leaving Bridget with two kids under three. You find out he’s dead almost immediately, but you don’t find out how or when until half way through the book. The entire middle section is a flashback to Bridget’s earlier diary entries. This was definitely a bit disappointing as it lost some of the continuity of the last two, especially if you can’t read the entire section in one go!
I found Bridget just as charming as in the previous novels, perhaps even more so as I’m reading it contemporaneously. The last two worked for me as I’ve just turned 30 and Bridget obsession with the end of her dating life as a 30-year-old and the trials and tribulations that come with it I easily identified with. What made this one even better, was Bridget’s growing obsession and total confusion over Twitter and, even later, online dating and her inability to deal with both “due to her aging.”
What’s great is that with Bridget’s aging her scattered-ness doesn’t completely disappear. She does have gems of thoughts that can only come with age,
“I made my excuses and left, thinking, really, after a certain age, people are just going to do what they’re going to do and you’re either going to accept them as they are or you’re not.” (383)
Combined with scenes like the last where she’s still running late, ends up covered in hot chocolate from her young daughter and trying not to cry over something ridiculously emotional, they provide such an “awwww” moment that I couldn’t help love this older Bridget Jones as much as the younger crazier one. I even almost teared up at the end of the novel when Bridget, her mother and her child-carer crying for myriad reasons. The outcome was just so sweet and adorable and everyone grew so much!
The only other thought I have is that, this isn’t a complex novel. I figured out early on who Bridget was going to end up with, hello history repeating itself, but that’s what novels like this are for! They’re not to challenge you too much, they’re to make you feel good, laugh and enjoy the lives of their characters. Even the sad parts had their humor!
Recommendation: If you’ve read the first two I think this provides excellent closure for the series. If anything I wish it were longer and a bit better developed. That being said, Fielding, once again, did an excellent job of capturing the craziness of society through Bridget.
Opening Line: “Talitha just called, talking in that urgent, ‘let’s-be-discreet-but-wildly-overdramatic’ voice she always has.”
Closing Line: “And by the way, currently all six of us have head lice.” (Whited out, highlight to read.)