Book in a Minute: Mad About the Boy

Mad About the Boy (Bridget Jones, #3)Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Mark Darcy is no longer in the picture for Bridget, and by now, most Helen Fielding fans know why he’s not there. But no matter the reason for his absence, it’s simply a cheat to go from that happy ending so many years ago to no books at all about their married life together. To open with Mark as gone as gone can be at the outset of the new book is at first confusing, then infuriating, and finally just disappointing.

While I understand Helen Fielding’s desire to shake things up, it didn’t feel like “playing fair” with the audience. Also, it didn’t quite work. The book lurched between moods in a jarring way. To be fair, that is much how real life feels as one passes 50, but fiction, as the saying goes, needs to make more sense. Forced attempts to recall the wacky Bridget of yesteryear (upside down in a tree while wearing a thong, no less) alternate uneasily with moments of touching, heartfelt emotion about her grief over Mark’s death.

Some scenes and images really stuck with me. Bridget recalling how Mark died and how she learned about it, the scene where her mother consoles her, and the owl that flies away near the end of the book–all were beautifully written. Women of a certain age will definitely relate to many of Bridget’s funny/sad experiences–the reading glasses, the stiffening body, the truly hilarious Botox mishap. But by and large, it’s an uneven book and a disappointment.

I suppose I should only give it two stars, but I’m too fond of Bridget–and Helen Fielding–to be that hard on either of them. Here’s hoping Bridget’s allowed to keep this latest happy ending, while Helen moves on to new territory.

View all my reviews

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Comments

  1. I LOVE the first Bridget Jones book; liked the second; won’t read the new one. Not interested. Not happy about Darcy and I really don’t care about Bridget’s life now.

    • I loved both books, and I really kept an open mind about this idea. I thought she might do something kind of whimsical like “”Kiss Me Goodbye” or “Dona Flor and Her Husbands” or the magnificent “Truly, Madly Deeply,” all great, romnatic comedies about the ghost of a dead husband or lover haunting a woman who’s attempting to move on. So I could imagine a way in which you could kill off Darcy and still have a really upbeat book. This is not that book.

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