I was recently happy to lay my hands on a copy of Mad About the Boy at a local second hand book store. I enjoyed the first Bridget Jones novel and admittedly don’t recall much of the second, which is probably for the best as I have concerns that my thoughts on it could be somewhat influenced by my recollection of the mediocre film adaptation.
I found it interesting that Helen Fielding opted to remove the pompous but loveable Mark Darcy from the picture in this latest glimpse into Bridget’s life, as I would have found her take on the nuances of marriage and children to be potentially more interesting than this rehash of the same formula explored in the previous two Bridget Jones offerings.
In Mad About the Boy, we find Bridget now widowed with two young children, conveniently left financially secure, as she becomes obsessed with Twitter and embarks on a relationship with a ‘toy boy’. Old characters are revisited, along with the introduction of new friends and lovers.
Still witty, Fielding covers the inherently female neuroses of dating, ageing and single parenting. To me this guilty pleasure was a quick, light hearted read for the most part, but dampened by the clichés and rather predictable conclusion. There are no surprises contained within but if you enjoy Fielding’s work this can provide brief entertainment when you’re after an undemanding read.
“Is it morally wrong to have a blow-dry when one of your children has head lice? Is technology now the fifth element? Or is that wood? Is sleeping with someone after 2 dates and 6 weeks of texting the same as getting married after 2 meetings and 6 months of letter writing in Jane Austen’s day?
Pondering these, and other modern dilemmas, Bridget Jones stumbles through the challenges of single-motherhood, tweeting, texting and rediscovering her sexuality in what SOME people rudely and outdatedly call ‘middle age’.”