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~Bridget Jones's Diary~

by Helen Fielding

      Heroine: Average

     Bridget Jones is a wryly humorous, voyeuristic look into the life of a young thirty-something who is set upon improving herself while trying to balance her world on a set of conflicting beliefs.  On the one hand she purports to be a staunchly independent "feminist", and yet she is utterly desperate for a man to call her own.  In point of fact, Bridget and her other unattached cronies are all convinced that they'll die alone and will be discovered weeks later half-eaten by an Alsatian.  This desperation tends to drive Bridget into relationships with some real sleazebag losers, which, while doing nothing helpful for her self-esteem, does wonders for her dieting.

     Add to all this the fact that Bridget has finally reached that difficult point in life where she has to be the adult in her family.  She has to handle her dad's pitiful middle-of-the-night phone calls while her mum, who left home in the throes of an end-of-life crisis, plays at living a wild carefree life as a television personality with a new youngish boyfriend, all the while trying to throw Bridget at her neighbor's rich, newly-divorced barrister son.

      What worked for me:

    I totally relate to Bridget's neuroses concerning food and calorie counting, as I imagine millions of other women in the world do.   I also understand her worries about fitting into the world and trying so hard to present herself as someone who "belongs" appearance and intelligence-wise.  Bridget's attempts at self-improvement in those areas were funny but also terribly bittersweet.

     Though it sometimes seemed a bit much, the terse telegraphic writing style lent itself very well to giving the feel of reading someone else's journal.  And it was certainly fun trying to decipher those cryptic entries made when Bridget'd had a few too many!

     Size-wise Bridget was at best on the plump side of average, but she felt as though she was much larger than that.  When she managed to shed the "extra" weight, all her friends couldn't help but ask her if she was ill and where her bosom had gone to.

What didn't work for me:    

     The characters were more like "caricatures" as they were so incredibly over-the-top in many respects, and at times I found their antics and attitudes wearing. (Well, you know how the psychobabble goes . . if you don't like someone, odds are it's because she reminds you of yourself.  I am fervently hoping that this isn't actually true!)

Overall:

     A fun, fast read for those who want to have a few laughs and feel better about their own lot in life.  After all, things could be worse.  You could be Bridget!

Warning: coarse language and sexual references abound, and if you abhor calorie obsessions, then skip over the headers to each entry in this book.

If you liked "Bridget Jones's Diary" you might also enjoy "Love at Large", "Waking Beauty", "Coffee and Kung Fu", "Good in Bed", "Last Chance Saloon", "Jemima J.", "Getting Over It", and "Having It and Eating It".

Have you read this book and have a comment to make on it? Join a discussion about the book at the Dangerous Curves forum or submit a review to this website

 

Good-bye, Mom.

I love you and will miss you forever.

 

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