Truth: I almost didn't read the new Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy. Sequels had a bad habit of letting me down. And like any good woman, I hated that more than anything. So even though I was dying to revisit my effed up friend Bridget Jones, to see where life had taken her, I was afraid. Afraid it would suck. Afraid Bridget would bug me. Afraid that I wouldn't find moments of brilliance between the pages of her diary again.
And then there was the backlash. People saying it was terrible. That Bridget had lost her heart. Everyone all pissed off that Helen Fielding had killed off Mark Darcy. (No spoiler alert needed, right? Don't we all know this by now?) Even as I turned the first pages, I almost found myself finding reasons not to like it--judging her for being an unfit mother, for her dating choices, for being obsessed with texting and Twitter.
But as I delved deeper into the book, I started to remember all the reasons why I loved her--why we all had fallen in love with her in the first place. When the book picks up, things haven't exactly turned out the way we thought they would for Bridget. She's trying to pick up the pieces of her life after losing her greatest love, the one man she felt would ever "get" her. She's trying to find herself again. And in classic Bridget fashion, she's a hot damn mess.
I've always believed that deep down inside, there was a little bit of Bridget in all of us--that we're all just struggling to keep our shit together, some better than others. Bridget reminds us it's okay not to be perfect--she may take it to the extreme, but the message is still the same: let's not take ourselves so damn seriously. Her honesty about love, parenting and aging will make some people uncomfortable for sure, (um helloooo, have you seen the angry Amazon reviews?!) but at least she's putting it out there. Fielding does a genius job of making us adore Bridget, even when she makes maddening choices. And in my experience as an author, that's a very difficult thing to do.
For me, reading Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy was like having an drink with an old friend--it was funny, heartbreaking and loving all at the same time. I highly recommend putting the judgement aside and picking it up--and I dare you not to find a little piece of yourself in those pages.
Have you read it? What did y'all think?