Rating: 4 Stars
My boss and I both love Pride and Prejudice so we often end up telling each other of every single possibly offshoot that we can read and watch to satisfy our P&P itch. And this was one of them. She told me it was hilarious and that I had to read it. So I immediately put it on my to-read list. It took me about 50 pages in and I was hooked. (I always give books to page 77 so this definitely made the cut.)
Everything about Bridget Jones should drive me crazy. She obsesses over her weight, she freaks out over everything, and she is desperate to not be single. All of those things have always been on my "do not do" list. But gosh she is so funny. And somehow you find yourself agreeing with her, sympathizing with her, and understanding the complexities of what it means to be a woman! She bumbles around as a thirtysomething trying to figure out why her life isn't panning out to be what she has always pictured it to be....and what she can do to improve it.
She has a wide range of influences in her life that she is always getting advice from. She bounces between her very verbal feminist friend to her homosexual friend who gives her tips on getting a guy's attention. She also has a mother who is trying to figure out who she is as a woman after spending years being a homemaker. When she tastes freedom, she goes wild. After one lunch date, Bridget says, "As I went to the till to pay, I was thinking it all over and trying, as a feminist, to see Mum's point of view..." And I think I love that most about Bridget. She is really trying to figure things out--as a woman who values feminism but also as a woman who values relationships and love.
Fielding is hilarious when writing about expectations for women in today's society. When getting ready for a date Bridget goes into how exhausted she is before she even has the date. "Being a woman is worse than being a farmer--there is so much harvesting and crop spraying to be done: legs to be waxed, underarms shaved, eyebrows plucked, feet pumiced, skin exfoliated and moisturized..." and ends it with "Ugh, ugh. Is it any wonder girls have no confidence?" Later on she says, "Wise people will say Daniel should like me just as I am, but I am a child of Cosmopolitan culture, have been traumatized by supermodels and too many quizzes and know that neither my personality nor my body is up to it if left to its own devicees. I can't take the pressure."
I find it so interesting the thoughts that go through her head. Weight, men, food, single, marriage---the whole grass is greener on the other side thing. She has friends who are married and are dealing with affairs and communication issues. She goes to baby showers where all the parents are lying about how advanced their kids are. And yet, everyone keeps asking her why she isn't married. Tick tock, tick tock. People obsess over it so she is forced to constantly be dealing with the question. So much so that even as a reader, you start to wonder why she hasn't gotten married! Fielding points out the ridiculous in life while her character, Bridget, bumbles around trying to figure it all out.
The only bummer thing was that I had seen the movie several years ago so kept picturing Renee Zellweger and Hugh Grant as the characters. I didn't dislike them...I just didn't love them in the roles.
I also kept picturing Colin Firth as Mark Darcy, but I didn't really mind that one....
As I mentioned in my 2013 goal, I’m reading mostly women lit that focuses on women authors or complicated, strong female characters this year. Here is the list of my previous book reviews that I've done on this journey:
First: Madame Bovary
Second: Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress
Third: Patron Saint of Liars
Fourth: Bird by Bird
Fifth: Frida Kahlo
Sixth: Women Seeing Women