‘Bridget Jones’s diary’ – Helen Fielding
‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’ follows the fortunes of a single girl on an optimistic but doomed quest for self-improvement. Cheered by feminist ranting with her friends Jude. Shazzer and ‘hag-fag’ Tom, humiliated at Smug Marrieds’ dinner parties, crazed by parental attempts to fix her up with a rich divorcee in a diamond-patterned sweater, Bridget lurches from torrid affair to pregnancy-scare convinced that if she could just get down to 8st 7, stop smoking and develop Inner Poise, all would be resolved.
I think it is always tricky to read a book when there is such a successful film adaptation and I have to admit, I always pictured the actors who played the characters from the film. That being said, if you have seen the film then I urge you not to by-pass this book because it is quite different, with more escapades from Bridget.
I love how Helen Fielding has drawn so many parallels with Austen’s Mr Darcy and her own Mark Darcy. Right from the start I was rooting for Bridget to move on from Daniel Cleaver and find her love for Mark, and desperately wanted her to realise how much of a bad boy Cleaver really is! You know that Mark is really Bridget’s knight in shining armour but I do think that there was opportunity for Fielding to go into more detail about why Mark and Daniel don’t like each other (yes, like in the film).
There are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, such as the diary entry where Bridget is desperately trying to program her video player. You can’t help but laugh at Bridget and her misfortunes, and Fielding has created a loveable character that I think all readers can relate to. So much so, I really wanted to give Bridget a big hug, particularly when she wrote about how down she was feeling.
This is a really good book to read and I am keen to read more books by Helen Fielding. Charming and witty, Bridget Jones has many character traits that can be seen in all of us and I think this is why the book has such timeless humour. It might have been first published in 1996, but there is still so much that Fielding’s readers can relate to.