Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

bridgetHelen Fielding’s protagonist, Bridget Jones, is the every woman, crushing on her boss and drinking far too much. She is awkward yet tries so hard to have “inner poise.” She is funny, even when unintentional, and is obsessed with her weight. She is also facing a bleak future of singledom when most her age are getting married and already have kids. Bridget Jones is me.

My first introduction to Bridget Jones’s Diary was the movie that made women swoon over both Colin Firth and Hugh Grant. It was the first romantic comedy that I can recall hearing legions of women talking about and loving. I thought the movie was entertaining but it never really appealed to me. My friends begged me to read the book, and I’m glad I did.

The book is much more witty and biting. It’s the daily journal of a woman facing the challenges of being over 30, single, and just not skinny enough. From the moment where Bridget accidentally drinks too much and eats pounds of candy to drown out her sorrows to the moment when she realizes that her own mother is having more success with men than she is, the novel portrays a hilarious but sometimes sad character. Bridget never knows what to say, always says the wrong things, and somehow manages to pull it off with charm. The book is far less the “happily ever after” than the movie, and is much more an insightful read about the social expectations of women and what one woman is willing to do to achieve happiness.

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