Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy is the highly anticipate third installment of the Bridget Jones series whose author, Helen Fielding, gained a legion of fans the world over with her beloved depiction of the country’s most famous singleton.
Understandably, much hype surrounded the publication of Fielding’s new book, and, when a week prior to its release, The Times published an extract in which fans discovered darling Darcy had died, much furor ensued. Indeed, when critics went on to reprehend parts of the book for being an unrealistic portrayal of the life of a now fifty-one year-old single mother, I was slightly nervous that Mad About the Boy would fail to live up to the expectations I had for it, following the fifteen year absence of one of my favourite literary characters.
The book begins five years after Mark Darcy’s untimely death and Bridget is now a single mother to Mabel and Billy, living in north London and trying desperately to juggle writing a film script with de-licing her children’s hair. Now a non-smoker she has replaced counting fags with twitter followers, though her obsession with calorie counting remains, and is certainly not helped by her love for packs of ready-grated mozzarella.
Having been convinced by high-flying Jude and gay-best-friend Tom to get back on the dating scene, Bridget begins a relationship with 29 year-old Roxster who she meets on Twitter and consequently begins a study into dating etiquette in the 21st century.
Both Bridget’s mother and love-rat Daniel make a number of appearances, and the characters are exactly how I had imagined them fifteen years on from when we left them. While just as hilarious as its predecessors, Mad About the Boy also contains some touching scenes in which Bridget reminisces about her and Mark’s life together and we witness her trying to deal with her won grief, as well as that of both Mabel and Billy.
For me, Mad About the Boy was everything I had hoped for and more. Offering an ideal slice of escapism for a rainy October weekend it was the perfect follow-up to Bridget’s first endeavours as a thirty-something singleton. For me, the only downside is that having fallen in love with her all over again, I now fear that it may well be the last we hear from the beloved Bridget.