Thursday, 17 February 2011

[021] Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason - Helen Fielding

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason by Helen Fielding

What the Back of the Book Has to Say:

The Wilderness Years are over! But not for long. At the end of Bridget Jones's Diary, Bridget hiccuped off into the sunset with man-of-her-dreams Mark Darcy. Now, in The Edge of Reason, she discovers what it is like when you have the man of your dreams actually in your flat and he hasn't done the washing-up, not just the whole of this week, but ever.

Lurching through a morass of self-help theories and mad advice from Jude and Shazzer, struggling with a boyfriend-stealing ex-friend with thighs like a baby giraffe, an eight foot hole in the living room wall, a mother obsessed with boiled-egg peelers, and a builder obsessed with large reservoir fish, Bridget embarks on a spirtitual epiphany, which takes her from the cappuccino queues of Notting Hill to the palm -- and magic-mushroom-- kissed shores of ...

Bridget is back. V.g. 

Why I Picked It Up:

Nothing says "It's almost time to go home for Christmas!" like a re-read of one of your favorite books.

What I Think:

I think I have covered most of what I have to say about my love of Bridget Jones in my entry on the first novel but I suppose I will say a little bit more about the main plot of the sequel.

If you've only ever seen the movie version of this, get that out of your head right now. Although I personally don't think it's an awful movie, it's definitely not as good as the book and it would be much better if you're not picturing movie scenes as you read. The plot line, although similar, strays a lot from the original plot and the novel is much, much better.

It opens about the same, with Bridget finally together with Mr. Darcy and settling into a comfortable life of domesticity. However, things start to go wrong when too many misunderstandings and not enough discussion begin spiraling out of control.  A frenemy of Bridget's sets her sights on Mark, Bridget keeps jumping to conclusions about things that she never explains quite right, Jude and Shazzar have problems of their own and Tom runs away to San Francisco with an airport attendant. 

Bridget tries to get her life back on track, tries to become an independent journalist and a confident working woman and those plans go just as well as you would expect. She has to face head on her addiction to self-help books and when friend's advice shouldn't be listened to anymore. It's a novel about personal growth, not just for Bridget but for all the characters.

There are some wonderful sideplots with Jude and Shazzar that I am ultimately disappointed they did not include in the movie. Jude and her on again/off again boyfriend 'Vile Richard' go through a lot in the background of this book and it has a big effect on all of the characters. Unfortunately, Richard just gets a passing mention in the first movie. Shazzar, as well, as to deal with the conflict between her non-comprimising feminist views and the relationship she has with a close guy friend. 

I love this novel as it sees the characters from the first book come into their own and achieve happiness not through luck but from really looking at themselves and doing their best to change for the better. It has a great message (if you're looking for messages in your chick lit) and, beyond that, it's just a great read. It's funny, romantic and takes all of about two hours to get through. If you like chick lit, I promise you that you'll love this book.

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