Bridget Jones, the lovable English oaf that can’t seem to get a break, is back for installment number 3: a controversial book that reportedly has killed off her main man, Mark Darcy. “Mad About the Boy” is the title of the upcoming release, and it’s due in bookstores this October. Author Helen Fielding has released excerpts of the latest in the Bridget Jones saga in the Sunday Times this weekend, leading fans to question her daring plot development.
No longer a youngish lady, the Bridget in “Mad About the Boy” is now in her early 50s and mother to two children by her late husband, Mark Darcy. Still obsessed with her weight, her never-ending cigarette addiction and surplus of alcoholic beverages, Bridget now has to come to terms with life after marriage. Apparently, her new object of affection is a 29-year old called Roxter, a man whose text messages she is obsessively counting and over-thinking in her own, classic-Bridget way.
Helen Fielding’s first book in this series, “Bridget Jones’s Diary” was first published in 1996 and followed up with the sequel “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason” in 1999. Both were made into major hit movies featuring Renee Zellweger as Bridget, Colin Firth as Mark Darcy, and Hugh Grant as Darcy’s thorn-in-the-backside ex-friend Daniel Cleaver. Fans assume that the 3rd installment of the Bridget Jones series will also be followed up with a movie, although now it seems painfully clear that Colin Firth could be left out altogether.
Whether the excerpts of the book have been cleverly chosen to create controversy remains to be seen until the book is released in October, however it would not be out of the question to consider the possibility that Fielding is merely pulling our legs. Her character, Bridget, and her writing style, are often the tools by which the audience is fooled. Take for example the end of the first book, where after reading Bridget’s outrageous and hate-filled diary entries, Mark Darcy marches out of her apartment in an apparent fit, only to be chased down a block away and found buying a brand new journal for her to fill with romantic entries.
Fielding does like to play with our heads. Perhaps Roxter is really Darcy and the two are playing a romantic game while he is away on business? Fans can only hope the death of their beloved hero is only a ruse, as the evidence does look rather dire at this point.
According to Jonathan Cape, Helen Fielding’s publisher, the latest book will “give a voice to the more mature social media-obsessed concerns of the women who grew up with Bridget.” In other words, as the fans age, so too does Bridget, a move that gives the much-loved character a whole new set of issues and ideals to deal with. The most drastic change to Bridget’s life, aside from the apparent death of her husband, is the addition of two children: Mabel and Billy.
The novel is set for release on October 10th through Random House, but impatient fans can pre-order a copy right now through Amazon.
by Mandy Gardner