I know I wasn’t the only one out there who immediately said NO WAY when I heard about the premise of this book. (It isn’t really a spoiler any longer is it? I can talk about it, right?) I mean, come on. Bridget without Mark Darcy? No thanks.
And then I read a few reviews from people that I trust, and they were mostly positive, and they were pushing me toward reading it. I filed away these trusted opinions, still unsure if I even wanted to open this particular can of worms. And then I saw it on the shelf at the library and tossed it into my bag, still not sure.
But I’m really glad I read it. Yes, it was super sad. And yes, I really missed the Mark/Bridget dynamic. But. This book made me laugh out loud. And it also made me cry. This book gave me all of the emotions.
What was great about it was it went back to the basics, a Bridget Jones 101. Bridget’s relationships with her friends, her mother, and Daniel were all front and center. Bridget still drinks too much, eats an irregular diet, and worries about her weight. She does embarrassing things in front of eligible men, sometimes showing her inappropriate underwear. All good.
And the new stuff mostly worked as well. Bridget’s struggles to cope as a single, older parent were totally relatable. I loved her attempts to joke around with the uber-controlling moms at her kids’ schools, with all of her humor veering way off track.
To be honest, I could have done without the younger boyfriend/cougar plot, but I get that it was all about making Bridget feel like a woman again, as opposed to just feeling like a mom. And seriously, I had no need for the lice bit, as that is my constant nightmare while I have three school-aged kids.
But the rest of it worked for me. And I was sad when I finished it because I wanted to visit with these characters for longer. Yes, I missed Mark and the way he always had the perfect thing to say. And yes, I was devastated when Fielding finally explained what happened. But I think she did a lovely job painting the picture of a woman’s life turned upside down by grief, and her slow and reluctant voyage to getting her life back. With humor and wine and lots of chocolate (for both Bridget and myself, of course).