A GoodReads Reader's Choice
Bridget Jones—one of the most beloved characters in modern literature (v.g.)—is back! In Helen Fielding's wildly funny, hotly anticipated new novel, Bridget faces a few rather pressing questions:
What do you do when your girlfriend’s sixtieth birthday party is the same day as your boyfriend’s thirtieth?
Is it better to die of Botox or die of loneliness because you’re so wrinkly?
Is it wrong to lie about your age when online dating?
Is it morally wrong to have a blow-dry when one of your children has head lice?
Is it normal to be too vain to put on your reading glasses when checking your toy boy for head lice?
Does the Dalai Lama actually tweet or is it his assistant?
Is it normal to get fewer followers the more you tweet?
Is technology now the fifth element? Or is that wood?
If you put lip plumper on your hands do you get plump hands?
Is sleeping with someone after two dates and six weeks of texting the same as getting married after two meetings and six months of letter writing in Jane Austen’s day?
Pondering these and other modern dilemmas, Bridget Jones stumbles through the challenges of loss, single motherhood, tweeting, texting, technology, and rediscovering her sexuality in—Warning! Bad, outdated phrase approaching!—middle age.
In a triumphant return after fourteen years of silence, Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy is timely, tender, touching, page-turning, witty, wise, outrageous, and bloody hilarious.
TODAY Book Club Selection
Excerpted from Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding. Copyright © 2014 by Helen Fielding. Excerpted by permission of Vintage, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
“Sharp and humorous. . . . Snappily written, observationally astute. . . . Genuinely moving.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Bridget’s back! And as irrepressible as ever. . . . Sweet, clever, and funny.” —People
“A clever mashup of texts, emails, tweets, and diary entries from Bridget, a bighearted person who brings hearty humor to the ordinary vicissitudes of life. . . . Fielding’s wit is generous and forgiving.” —Chicago Tribune
“Fielding’s comic gifts . . . are once again on shimmering exhibit.” —Elle
“Tender and comic.” —The New Yorker
“Feels like visiting with your funniest friend.” —Entertainment Weekly
“Delightful. . . . Bridget Jones was a character made for the Internet, from her confessional tone to her casual creation of memes.” —Los Angeles Times
“Sweet and satisfying. . . . Bridget still has her posse of funny friends and her shelf of self-help books.” —USA Today
“Helen has always had a sharp eye for the obsessions and neuroses of our times, a talent much in evidence here—her [Bridget’s] liability rests very much on her believability.” —Anna Wintour, editor in chief of Vogue
“Very funny.” —The Boston Globe
“Sweet, clever and funny. Yay Bridget!” —People (five stars)
“Fielding has somehow pulled off the neat trick of holding to her initial premise—single woman looks for romance—while allowing her heroine to grow up into someone funnier and more interesting than she was before. . . . Mad About the Boy, is not only sharp and humorous . . . but also snappily written, observationally astute and at times genuinely moving. . . . Bridget-the-parent is like a character in a Russian novel, lurching constantly from ecstasy to despair, sometimes in the course of a single paragraph. . . . Its big heart, incisive observations, nice sentences, vivid characters and zippy pace make it a book you could happily spend the night with. It is possible I cried a little at the end, but then, as Bridget might say: am sucker for happy endings.” —Sarah Lyall, The New York Times Book Review
“As Bridget might say, it’s ‘v. v. good.’ . . . [She’s] still hilarious and hopeful, even while making crazy mistakes and pointed asides and romancing a sexy younger man.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune
“I read the book. I loved it. I loved her. She’s smart, she’s funny and she makes us all feel like we’re good just the way we are.” —Jenna Bush Hager, Today
“Just as Helen Fielding did with the dating world of London in the 1990s, she now casts her laser-sharp eyes on midlife and parenthood. . . . Fielding’s wit is generous and forgiving. . . . A clever mashup of texts, emails, tweets, and diary entries from Bridget, a bighearted person who brings hearty humor to the ordinary vicissitudes of life.” —Chicago Tribune
“Inimitable. . . . If you don’t shed a few tears in the course of this book, you must have a heart of ice.” —The Guardian (London)
“Fielding’s comic gifts—and, just as important, her almost anthropological ability to nose out all that is trendy and potentially crazy-making about contemporary culture, from Twitter (‘OMG, Lady Gaga has 33 million followers! Complete meltdown. Why am I even bothering? Twitter is giant popularity contest which I am doomed to be the worst at’) to online dating—are once again on shimmering exhibit. And Bridget is still recognizably her ditzy but ultimately unfazable self. . . . [Has] the sort of narrative propulsion that is rare in autobiographically conceived fiction, not to mention an unsolipsistic world view (for all of Bridget’s fussing over herself) that invites broad reader identification.” —Daphne Merkin, Elle
“She’s back! Our favorite hapless heroine returns after a decade-plus hiatus, juggling two kids, potential boyfriends, smug marrieds, rogue gadgets, and her nascent Twitter feed.” —Vogue
“With Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding created a new female archetype. Now she’s brought Bridget back to conquer the twenty-first century. . . . The diary form itself pays homage to Austen, lifting Fielding’s work above many pale imitations. Austen’s heroines aren’t writers, but Fielding’s is. . . . Austen’s plots are marriage plots, and ultimately so are Bridget’s. But Fielding’s novels (like Austen’s, and like Sex and the City and Girls) also revolve around friendship—something at which Bridget excels. Nor is the character’s staying power an accident. Fielding . . . is still very much a writer.” —Radhika Jones, Time
“A character like Bridget Jones is so beloved that she becomes something of a virtual best friend. . . . [The] third Bridget romp is every bit as engaging, hilarious and sometimes downright naughty as the first two: perfect light reading after a long day of holiday shopping, online dating or herding co-workers.” —Dallas Morning News
“Fielding manages to both move and delight the reader time after time. . . . Hilarious.” —New York Journal of Books
1. Who is “the boy”? Is it who you first thought it would be?
2. How did you react when you read about Mark Darcy’s fate?
3. Age is a major theme in this novel. Why does Bridget feel the struggles more acutely than some of her contemporaries?
4. Bridget’s friends deal with aging in different ways. Talitha believes in Botox while Bridget notes that Woney has not done any of this “rebranding” (page 66). Why do these different characters make these different decisions?
5. Dating rules have changed dramatically since Bridget’s last appearance. How well does she adapt?
6. Bridget is adapting Hedda Gabbler, which she explains is a story about “the perils of trying to live through men” (page 17). What is Fielding’s intent with this parallel?
7. In what ways did Daniel change from the previous books? And how did he stay the same?
8. Why does Roxster tell Bridget he “hearts” her? (page 250). Does he really mean “love,” or is this something else?
9. Mr. Wallaker tells Bridget, “. . . other people’s lives are not always as perfect as they appear, once you crack the shell” (page 323). How does Bridget finally learn this lesson? What earlier opportunities did she have to learn it?
10. On page 361, Tom tells Bridget about a new survey: “It proves that the quality of someone’s relationships is the biggest indicator of their long-term emotional health—not so much the ‘significant other’ relationship, as the measure of happiness is not your husband or boyfriend but the quality of the other relationships you have around you.” How does this bode for Bridget? Which characters might have cause for concern?
11. At the carol concert, Mr. Wallaker looks at Bridget in a certain way and she realizes she loves him. What finally brings her around?
12. What is the significance of the owl?
13. Bridget’s last entry ties up the story in a cozy, comforting way. What do you imagine will happen next?