Bridget Jones’s Baby: The Diaries by Helen Fielding

In brief: Bridget Jones is having a baby, but who is the father – Mark Darcy or Daniel Cleaver?

The good: It’s Bridget!!

The not-so-good: I’m a little confused as to where this fits in the Bridget world.

Why I chose it: Christmas present, because Bridget.

Year: 2016

Pages: 217

Publisher: Jonathan Cape (Penguin Random House)

Setting: England

My rating: 9 out of 10

I adore Bridget Jones. She is part of my reading history, having devoured the first two novels on a cross-Australia road trip and re-reading them many more times over. Plus, what girls’ movie night doesn’t include at least some of the movies? Mad About the Boy was still good (even though I can’t believe she got old!) but Bridget Jones’s Baby sits right where I want it to be. Bridget is still young (except for the geriatric mother bit) and there is still Mark and Daniel. Plus, Bridget is still being unintentionally hilarious only in the way that she can be. For my own reading canon purposes, I have decided the Mad About the Boy no longer exists and that this is the true sequel to The Edge of Reason with things concluding in happily ever after.

The story is predictably Bridget, but you can’t help but smile and giggle in all the right places. It’s about coming home to a familiar face with familiar problems. You see, Mark and Bridget got engaged but then broke it off when Daniel wanted one last look at her ginormous knickers. Mark went on to marry someone else and even Daniel managed to snag a minor royal. As for Bridget, well…nothing exciting. But then there’s yet another christening and she and Mark hook up. Mark then disappears again and well, Daniel is trying to be a serious literary novelist and there’s a hook up there. Then, the Bridget crisis: a baby (yay!) but who is the father? Given the deep hatred between Mark and Daniel, it’s going to be difficult…but oh so funny!

The book is quite a quick read (particularly if you’re reluctant to put it down like me) but it was like coming home to a bubble bath. It’s familiar and warm. Bridget is still her funny self as are her friends (age hasn’t stopped the ability to throw out an f-bomb or five). Daniel is wonderfully sleazy, full of it but attempts occasionally to be mature. Mark Darcy is generally buttoned up, except when a spanner is thrown in the works and he becomes the exact opposite (which is cutely hilarious). Bridget’s mother is full of her usual community problems and tactless comments while her father is the voice of reason.

I haven’t seen the movie that is or isn’t based on this book – in fact, I was quite surprised to look at the back of the DVD box and see that McDreamy Patrick Dempsey is not playing Daniel (which would be weird but also kind of fair because Bridget deserves the hot guys) but another character Jack. I could picture Hugh Grant as Daniel saying and doing the things in the book, so I don’t know if I even want to see it (but again, McDreamy…).

Helen Fielding nails Bridget Jones once again in this hilarious book. It has some great nods to the previous books and movies, so it’s a great nostalgia trip too. I could happily read Bridget/Mark mix-ups many times over.

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