Title: Bridget Jones’s Diary
Series: Bridget Jones, Book 1
Author: Helen Fielding
Fiist published: October 25th 1996, Picador
Edition: ebook, 288 pages
Genre: Romance, humor
Age group: Adult
Rating: ★ ★ ★
The first time I heard about ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’ was in 2001 when the movie version of the book was running in theaters. It was the talk of everyone, mostly of Renée Zellweger getting weight specifically for the part of Bridget. I watched the movie at that time, alongside my mom, and thought it was funny, but probably not that appealing to me, a teenager then and not interested in problems of women in their thirties.
With the book having been published in 1996, it’s only now that I felt a pull to dig into it. I’ve been told by lots of people how nice the book was, and I really was intrigued about the whole buzz. Especially after reading mostly romance or fantasy books, a comedy was more than welcomed.
There’s probably no need for me to write a detailed summary of the story as, first, it’s probably familiar to everybody, and second, it’s not that elaborate. Bridget Jones is a single woman slightly over thirty who makes a list of New Year’s Resolutions and sets to complete them all in the upcoming year.
I expected to read about Bridget’s struggles with dieting and living healthier, spoiled by some occasional missteps only to come to success in the end. But Bridget seemed to not even try, in fact she led a pretty usual course of life, eating whatever she felt like, smoking and drinking to the point of oblivion.
The story is written in a form of a diary supposedly meant for Bridget to keep track on her little achievements, and while it was funny to watch her constantly give in to her cravings, she didn’t actually do anything to even slightly make a difference. In fact, this absence of any progress or development on Bridget’s part made her quite a boring character. I was more excited reading about other secondary characters, who unlike Bridget were very unique, fun and totally different persons. I loved them all – Bridget’s crazy and energetic mom with her new found desire to live young and fully, her friends who also struggle with unhappy relationships and tend to give Bridget very opposite and misleading advices on love. I even liked Danielle, now matter what a jerk he was, just because he was a whole independent and unique person, who actually did something in his life, unlike Bridget.
I liked Bridget only as a narrator, when she would describe these awkward parties and family-and-friends gatherings she attended or her mom’s involvement with a criminal. But Bridget as a separate character was too disorganized and immature, and she didn’t change a bit in the end. Maybe there’s a hope in the sequel?
Mark Darcy’s infatuation with Bridget also came out of nowhere and with it being squeezed in the very last pages of the book seemed very unbelievable. Especially with Bridget not very fond of Mark till these very last pages. But he took the matter in his own hands, so once again Bridget went with the flow.
So, being a diary of such a weak character, although funny enough, the story came out as very uneventful to me, the plot line wasn’t that strong. The main focus was just on Bridget and her countless misfortunes. I laughed at some scenes, but generally I like the movie better as it looks more dynamic.