This will be a relatively short post, as I’m not sure what I can say about Bridget Jones’s Diary that hasn’t already been said. I picked up a copy at last year’s Hay Festival, and whilst it’s not my usual kind of read, I’ve been feeling the need to read something a little different, and this fit the bill perfectly.
A dazzlingly urban satire on modern relationships?
An ironic, tragic insight into the demise of the nuclear family?
Or the confused ramblings of a pissed thirty-something?
As Bridget documents her struggles through the social minefield of her thirties and tries to weigh up the eternal question (Daniel Cleaver or Mark Darcy?), she turns for support to four indispensable friends: Shazzer, Jude, Tom and a bottle of chardonnay.
Welcome to Bridget’s first diary: mercilessly funny, endlessly touching and utterly addictive.
Bridget Jones’s Diary was first published in 1996, and I went into this novel expecting it to feel a little dated – a lot has changed since then, after all – and I was surprised to find that this wasn’t actually the case. Obviously, technology has moved on significantly in the last 20 or so years, and yet the problems faced by Bridget and her friends are largely the same issues that women still come up against today. Casual, everyday sexism, the idea that women are selfish for choosing a career over family, the constant reminders of one’s biological clock (“Tick-tock-tick-tock”) – I could go on, but it really does highlight how little attitudes have changed in the last 20 or so years, although I think that we are now (finally!) starting to see some small shifts in attitudes towards women.
Bridget is, of course, an iconic character, and I found it impossible to read Bridget Jones’s Diary without picturing the actors from the film. In both media, Bridget comes across as being a larger than life individual, and yet is ultimately relatable. I can’t honestly say I know anyone quite like Bridget, and yet I can see elements of her in myself and the others, and many of her worries and concerns are all too familiar. And whilst many of the situations she finds herself in are cringeworthy, I found it hard not to laugh along with her antics.
Anyone who has seen the film will find the novel to be largely predictable (and that’s not necessarily a bad thing) although there are some differences between the two. It’s not my usual kind of read, and this will never be my “go to” type of book, but I really enjoyed reading something that’s a little out of my comfort zone.
Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐