I am a diehard Bridget Jones fan. When I found out there was to be a third book to give us more insight into Bridget’s crazy mind, my excitement was equivalent to a kid’s at Christmas. Then I had to wait months for it to finally be released. Well, on the 10th of October, it was finally released in the UK! Lucky for me, I’m in the UK. Let the reading begin!
I read this book in two short days. I didn’t plan on it. In fact, I planned on finishing up the book I was currently reading (The Fault in Our Stars, another excellent book, by John Green), but I opened Mad About the Boy just to get a preview of it and I was hooked immediately. I read 60% the first night. Now, let me say, I enjoyed this book immensely. It was written in the same tone as Bridget Jones’s Diary and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. I read quite an important spoiler before the book came out and I was uncertain how it would be because of this. Happy to say, I was not disappointed.
I must advise you not to read any further if you do not wish to be spoiled. While I’ll attempt to not give too much away, there is one huge element of the story that I must divulge. It’s the same spoiler I had read before reading the book itself. Last chance. Look away now if you don’t want any spoilers!!
Did you look away??
Okay. Here goes. Mark Darcy is dead. “What?! How can Helen Fielding do this to her devoted fans? How can she kill off a much beloved character like that? I’m so angry! I’ll never read the book! I shall give the book a terrible review even though I’ve not actually read it!” That’s a little sample of some of the things I read about this book on Goodreads.com when I went to see what people thought of it. I couldn’t believe people were giving this book a 1 star rating without reading it simply because they heard a favorite character had died in the story.
Yes, Mark Darcy died. I appreciate a little realism in my stories (even when it can be frustrating) and sometimes, spouses die. It’s tragic and awful, but I admire the way Helen Fielding was able to take on this difficult subject matter and give it the weight it deserved while at the same time still making us laugh. The story actually takes place 4 years after Mark’s death. Bridget is widowed, single, trying to cope with his death and the gaping hole he left behind in her life, while also raising their two young children the best she can. We follow her on her journey as she tries to get back into the dating life in her 50s. We get to see her parenting blunders and how she handles them. As a parent myself, I related to some of the situations she found herself in with her kids, which just made them funnier. We got to catch up with old characters and we got to meet some lovely (and some not so lovely) new characters.
To sum up: If you can accept the death of Mark Darcy and you enjoyed the other books in the Bridget Jones series, I can’t see how you would be disappointed with this one. If you cannot accept the death of Mark Darcy, best to avoid this book altogether, but that is a real shame because it’s a gem!