Good Monday Morning!
I went for cheerful greeting…I don’t like Monday mornings particularly, but today is not too bad. So, as promised, my review of Helen Fielding’s Mad About the Boy
I was kind of excited to read this book, but I had reservations. It had been a long time since I had sat down with Bridget Jones and I wasn’t sure where this book was going to go.
First off, I got angry. If you haven’t yet read this book and are already in love with previous Bridget Jones books, stop reading right now. If you have or you don’t care about spoilers, read on.
Mark Darcy is dead!! I had a serious WTF moment and actually got mad at the book. I almost stopped reading. It seemed so unfair that she would take away Bridget’s soul mate, and in such an abrupt way. But then, after leaving the book festering on my bedside table for a day, I went back to find out what would happen to Bridget now.
So, there she is in London, two small children, older, still neurotic and without the love of her life and husband. Okay, fair is fair, I’ve killed off beloved characters too (am in the midst of a doozy myself at the moment) and I can understand that it was Helen’s choice to do this so I gave her the benefit of the doubt.
The book has certainly got its’ hilarious moments. Bridget is floundering as ever and trying to work out how on earth to keep her life afloat, not just for herself but for her two young children and Helen’s writing is every bit on the mark as it had been in her previous books. I love that Bridget fumbles through things. I love that she obsesses (whether it be over twitter, or making the school run or the young, young YOUNG man she is dating). Getting back into dating and sex after a marriage and death of a spouse is not something I want to experience but I imagine it would be fraught with fumbles in a similar way. Bridget’s obsession over twitter followers was funny as well and highly enjoyable although I think a little poetic license was taken in the rapid acquisition of literally hundreds of followers overnight. I actually got more joy out of her spontaneously asking people to follow her on twitter right after a social blunder only to hear them say ‘no’ as they walked away. Really funny.
My only issue with the book (apart from Mark’s death) was that it seemed to lose itself around the mid-point. I remember looking at how much I still had yet to read at one point and thinking “well, what else can possibly happen?”
Helen pulls me back though and the rest of the book was delightful. The kids (and Bridget) get lice…a total parenting moment, and she is constantly stuffing her face with shredded cheese to ease her nerves. She introduces a proper love interest and we can see that again, Bridget is drawn to a strong man who calms her down and helps to un-ruffle her feathers while simultaneously loving her…just as she is.
Mad About the Boy was not quite what I expected, but it won me over. I’ll wager a guess that it will win over any of her previous Bridget audience as well. We can all identify with how life can be chaotic and messy and reading about Bridget’s attempts to make sense of a world that was literally snatched away from her was heart warming, funny and in the end, satisfying.
I really enjoyed it. After I got over being mad.