Culture Street

Books

Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy

On October 21, 2013

By Sophia Whitfield

Was it really back in 1996 that the first Bridget Jones book was published? And in 2001 when the film starring Hugh Grant and Colin Firth became such a phenomenon? It seems Bridget has got to 51 in a matter of seconds without any of us realising it. Now that she is 51 the implication is that we are all that bit older as well. Could this be?

In 1996 when my sister stepped off a plane from London brandishing a fabulous new novel, I had not seen her for two years, nor did I see her for the next few hours. I was busy guffawing at a novel drinking in the delights of Mark Darcy. I had at the time just given birth to my third child and the thought of living in Bridget’s shoes for a few hours, counting alcohol units and desperately seeking a man was devilishly indulgent. I was a sleep deprived mother of three, Bridget’s life was so far from mine it was intoxicating.

Now I have five children and Bridget has two. Her life is similar to mine, only she no longer has Mark Darcy to share her troubles and conquests. It’s all very sad and I found I didn’t really want to be Bridget any more. But then Roxster appeared – the 29-year-old toy boy.

Emails from Daniel Cleaver about short skirts, he is now as expected a bit of a sad case, have now been replaced by tweets from Roxster. An immature, but quite beautifully turned out young man who Bridget ultimately falls for, making her the envy of all her friends including Tom.

Of course there are a few issues with the age difference which leads Bridget to invest in different coloured slips from La Perla to cover up the ‘lumpy bits’. La Perla are no doubt doing a roaring trade on their Babydoll slips.

The book gets better as it goes on with constant remarks about her stage in life as an older and single mother. She is still ruled by her weight, desperate to lose at least some of it, and during an outing to be weighed at the obesity clinic she is referred to as a ‘geriatric mother’. Fielding’s trademark humour is sprinkled throughout the book. The difference is that in Mad About the Boy the humour is one mothers will relate to as they attempt the delicate art of child rearing with all its frenzy and messy love.

Bridget has moved on, as has life. The emergence of Twitter, the new micro blog of diarists, and internet dating are both treated with similar hilarity in the hands of Fielding. Bridget may be 51, but thank goodness she is not mature and still far from sensible.

However sad and desperate Bridget’s life becomes she always seems to land on her feet, so to speak, and we love her for it.

 

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