It's been all too long since we last saw Bridget Jones: The second novel was published fifteen years ago and it's been almost a decade since the journaling Londoner appeared on the screen. Fortunately, that wait is over. With Mad About the Boy, Bridget wrestles lovably awkwardly with worries about aging, the dangers of personal texting late at night while inebriated, and other common problems of the new millennium. A new Bridget published almost simultaneously in English and Spanish language editions and NOOK Books. (P.S. Speaking of new Bridgets, a new movie about her is due sometime next year.)
The New York Times Book Review - Sarah Lyall
Do we really want to hear about the middle-aged escapades of Bridget Jones…Hapless, inept, prone to romantic calamity, lurching from one mishap to the next through a hazy fog of faux pas and cigarette smoke, Bridget was so specific to her age that allowing her to reach 51 feels like a violation of the natural order of the fictional universe, as if a new Harry Potter book had him using magic to refinance his mortgage. So what a pleasant shock to find that the latest Bridget Jones installment, Mad About the Boy, is not only sharp and humorous, despite its heroine's aged circumstances, but also snappily written, observationally astute and at times genuinely moving. Fielding has somehow pulled off the neat trick of holding to her initial premisesingle woman looks for romancewhile allowing her heroine to grow up into someone funnier and more interesting than she was before.
England's sweetheart Bridget Jones returns after over a decade in Field's latest novel (after Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason). Bridget, now a single mother to two young children, is trying to catch up with the rest of the world. Just figuring out how to program the remote and her son's X-box is overwhelming enough, but now her friends are pushing her to get back into the dating scene. Determined to stay hip, Bridget is dating Roxster, a man 15 years her junior, who she meets through her trials and errors on Twitter. But juggling motherhood and a new boyfriend, while dealing with producers trying to turn her screenplay from tragedy to comedy may be more than Bridget can handle. Whether she is unintentionally announcing her family's head lice infestation to her production team or getting stuck in a tree while looking after her daughter, fans will find Fielding's third Bridget Jones installment hilarious and thoroughly entertaining. This book is sure to be a hit among new and old readers alike. Fielding's awkwardly charming character has aged well—but of course not gracefully. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
Praise for Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy
Today Show’s second Book Club Selection!
“Mad About the Boy is not only sharp and humorous, despite its heroine’s aged circumstances, but also snappily written, observationally astute and at times genuinely moving. Fielding has somehow pulled off the neat trick of holding to her initial premise – single woman looks for romance – while allowing her heroine to grow up into someone funnier and more interesting that she was before. Who knew middle age could be so eventful? . . . Fielding beautifully conveys the constant seesaw of emotions a parent feels toward the young and demanding: one minute overwhelming love, the next minute overwhelming desire to lock oneself in the bathroom with a bottle of gin . . . We get some good long narration, but large chunks of the book come in diary form, introduced by select statistics of the day, hilariously expanded to reflect grown-up Bridget’s concerns…. Its big heart, incisive observations and zippy pace . . . make the prospect of middle age not so bad at all. It is possible I cried a little at the end, but then, as Bridget might say: am sucker for happy endings.”
—Sarah Lyall, The New York Times Book Review
“With Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding created a new female archetype. Now she’s brought Bridget back to conquer the 21st century. (Rule No. 1: No texting while drunk) . . . Texting and Twitter play an outsize role in the new novel, which finds Bridget solo-parenting two young children and seeking romance after a decade under Mark Darcy’s chivalric guard . . . The diary form itself pays homage to Austen, lifting Fielding’s work above many pale imitations. Austen’s heroines aren’t writers, but Fielding’s is . . . Austen’s plots are marriage plots, and ultimately so are Bridget’s. But Fielding’s novels (like Austen’s, and like Sex and the City and Girls) also revolve around friendship—something at which Bridget excels. Nor is the character’s staying power an accident. Fielding . . . is still very much a writer. ”
–Radhika Jones, Time
“She's back! Our favorite hapless heroine returns after a decade-plus hiatus, juggling two kids, potential boyfriends, smug marrieds, rogue gadgets, and her nascent Twitter feed.”
“Fielding’s comic gifts—and, just as important, her almost anthropological ability to nose out all that is trendy and potentially crazy making about contemporary culture, from Twitter (“OMG, Lady Gaga has 33 million followers! Complete meltdown. Why am I even bothering? Twitter is giant popularity contest which I am doomed to be the worst at”) to online dating—are once again on shimmering exhibit. And Bridget, although now a fiftyish single mother who has to deal with putting her two young children, Billy and Mabel, to bed, along with treating their hair for nits, cleaning up vomit, and attending Sports Day school picnics, is still recognizably her ditzy but ultimately unfazable self . . . Bridget is so specific a character that it’s hard to believe that she’s been invented from whole cloth . . . [Has] the sort of narrative propulsion that is rare in autobiographically conceived fiction, not to mention an unsolipsistic worldview (for all of Bridget’s fussing over herself) that invites broad reader identification.”
—Daphne Merkin, Elle
“Bridget’s back! And as irrepressible as ever . . . Yes, Bridget has changed her dismal (Born-Again Virgin) status via the scary world of online dating, and she’s in turmoil. Repentant after masses of sex and drunken Twitter over-sharing, she comforts herself with grated mozzarella, her adorable, vomit-prone children and cockeyed attempts at self-improvement . . . sweet, clever and funny. Yay Bridget!”
—Helen Rogan, People
“Mark has been gone five years. Children have nits. Mother still difficult. Jude still tormenting Vile Richard. Daniel Cleaver is children’s godfather . . . Good fun, like gathering with friends.”
“Tender and comic.”
—The New Yorker
“Fielding manages to both move and delight the reader time after time . . . Hilarious.”
—New York Journal of Books
“Plenty has changed for everyone’s favorite London singleton since her v. funny diary first charmed the world in 1998. In Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, Bridget’s a widow with two kids, a Twitter account and a ‘toy boy’– but she’s still adorably clueless.”
“Three years before ‘Sex and the City’ staked its claim to the smart-sassy-single stereotype, Helen Fielding created Bridget Jones, a vessel for educated, urban thirtysomethings’ secret fears about cellulite and dying alone and the probable correlation between the two. Nearly 20 years later, in Fielding's latest, Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, a 50-year-old Bridget is looking for love again . . . This time around, though, instead of dialing 1471 to see who's called while she was in the shower, she's refreshing her Twitter at-replies . . . Delightful . . . Bridget Jones was a character made for the Internet, from her confessional tone to her casual creation of memes.”
—Ann Friedman, Los Angeles Times
“Hearing Bridget dissect wardrobe choices (’a brand chillingly called Not Your Daughter's Jeans'), parenthood (’Why can't everyone just F-ING SHUT UP AND LET ME READ THE PAPERS'), and exercise (‘Usually love Zumba...stomping angrily like horses, transporting one into a world of Barcelona or possibly Basque-coast nightclubs, and fire-lit gypsy encampments of undetermined national extraction') feels like visiting with your funniest friend.”
—Jessica Shaw, Entertainment Weekly
“She’s back! And even though she’s a fifty-something single mom, she’s still the Bridget Jones we all fell in love with.”
—Jenna Bush Hager, Today
If you don't know that Fielding is bringing back her beloved Bridget Jones, the character that sold 15 million copies worldwide and launched a movie franchise, then you've been hiding under a rock for months. The setting is contemporary London, and like all of us Bridget has moved on. No more plot details, but at least the title should be settled by BookExpo America.
Read an Excerpt
Saturday 8 September 2012
Just woke up from delicious, sensual dream all mixed up with Daniel and Leatherjacketman. Suddenly feel different: sensual, womanly and yet that makes me feel so guilty, as if I’m being unfaithful to Mark and yet . . . is so sensual feeling like a sensual woman, with a sensual side which is sensually . . . oh. Children are awake.
11:30 a.m. Entire morning has been totally sensual and lovely. Started day with all three of us in my bed, cuddling and watching telly. Then had breakfast. Then played hide and seek. Then drew and colored in Moshi Monsters, then did obstacle course all in pajamas, all the while with roast chicken emitting delicious fragrance from the Aga.
11:31 a.m. Am perfect mother and sensual woman with
sensual possibilities. I mean maybe someone like Leather-
jacketman could join in with this scenario
and. . . .
11:32 a.m. Billy: “Can we do computer, now it’s Saturday?”
11:33 a.m. Mabel: “Want to watch SpongeBob.”
11:35 a.m. Suddenly overwhelmed with exhaustion and desire to read papers in echoing silence. Just for ten minutes.
“Mummeee! De TV is broken.”
Realized, horrified, Mabel had got hold of the remotes. I started jabbing at buttons, at which white flecks appeared, accompanied by loud crackling.
“Snow!” said Mabel, excitedly, just as the dishwasher started beeping.
“Mummy!” said Billy. “The computer’s run out of charge.”
“Well, plug it in again!” I said shoving my head into the cupboard full of wires under the telly.
“Night!” said Mabel as the TV screen went black, and the tumble-dryer joined in the beeping.
“This charger doesn’t work.”
“Well, go on the Xbox!”
“It’s not working.”
“Maybe it’s the Internet connection.”
“Mummy! I’ve unplugged the AirPort, I can’t get it in again.”
Realizing my thermostat was veering dangerously towards red, I scampered off up the stairs saying, “Time to get dressed, special treat! I’ll get your clothes.” Then ran into their bedroom and burst out, “I hate fucking technology. Why can’t everyone just FUCKING SHUT UP AND LET ME READ THE PAPERS.”
Suddenly lurched in horror. The baby listener was on! Oh God, oh God. Should have got rid of it ages ago but paranoid as single parent, fear of death, etc., etc. Ran downstairs to find Billy racked by sobs.
“Oh Billy, I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean it. Was it the baby listener?”
“Nooooooooo!” he yelled. “The Xbox is frozen.”
“Mabel, did you hear Mummy in the baby listener?”
“No,” she said staring delightedly at the television. “De TV is mended.”
It was showing a page asking for the Virgin TV password.
“Billy, what’s the Virgin password?” I said.
“Isn’t it the same as your banker’s card, 1066?”
“OK, I’ll do the Xbox, you put in the password,” I said just as the doorbell rang.
“That password won’t work.”“Mummeee!” said Mabel.
“Shh, both of you!” I yelled. “There’s SOMEONE AT THE DOOR!”
Ran up the stairs, head a mass of guilty thoughts: “I’m a terrible mother, there is a hole inside them left by the loss of their father which they are trying to fill with technology,” and opened the door.
It was Jude, looking glamorous but hungover and tearful.
“Oh Bridge,” she said, falling into my arms. “I just can’t stand another Saturday morning on my own.”
“What happened . . . tell Mummy . . .” I said then remembered Jude was a grown-up financial giant.
“The guy I met on Match.com and went out with the day before the Stronghold? The one I had a snog with?”
“Yes?” I said trying vaguely to remember which one.
“He didn’t call. And then last night, he copied me in on a global text saying his wife has just had a baby girl 6 lbs 12 oz.”
“OhMyGod. That’s disgusting. That’s inhuman.”
“All these years I didn’t want children and people kept saying I’d change my mind. They were right. I’m going to get my eggs unfrozen.”
“Jude,” I said. “You made a choice. Just because some guy is a fuckwit it doesn’t mean it was the wrong choice. It’s a good choice for you. Children are . . . are . . . ” I glanced murderously back down the stairs.
She held out her phone showing an Instagram picture of the Fuckwit holding his baby.
“. . . cuddly and lovely and pink and 6 lbs 12 oz and all I do is work and hook up and I’m all on my own on a Saturday morning. And. . . . ”
“Come downstairs,” I said, darkly. “I’ll show you cuddly and lovely.”
We clomped back down. Billy and Mabel were now standing cherub-like, holding out a drawing saying, “We Love You Mummy.”
“We’re going to empty the dishwasher, Mummy,” said Billy. “To help you.”
Shit! What was wrong with them?
“Thank you, children. That would be lovely,” I purred, bustling Jude back upstairs, and outside the front door, before they did something worse like emptying the recycling bin.
“I’m going to defrost the eggs,” sobbed Jude as we sat down on the steps. “The technology was primitive then. Crude even, but it might work if . . . I mean I could get a sperm donor and. . . . ”
Suddenly the upstairs window in the house opposite shot open and a pair of Xbox remotes hurtled out, landing with a smash next to the dustbins.
Seconds later, the front door flung open and the bohemian neighbor appeared, dressed in fluffy pink mules, a Victorian nightdress, and a small bowler hat, carrying an armful of laptops, iPads, and iPods. She teetered down the front steps and shoved the electronics in the dustbin, followed by her son and two more boys wailing, “Noooooo! I haven’t finished my leveeeeeeel!”
“Good!” she yelled. “When I signed up for having children, I did NOT sign up to be ruled by a collection of inanimate thin black objects and a gaggle of TECHNO-CRACKHEADS refusing to do anything but stare with jabbing thumbs, while demanding that I SERVICE them like a computer tech crossed with a five-star-hotel concierge. When I didn’t have you, everyone spent their entire time saying I’d change my mind. And guess what? I’ve had you. I’ve brought you up. And I’ve CHANGED MY MIND!”
I stared at her, thinking, “I have to be friends with that woman.”
“Children of your age in India live entirely successfully as street urchins,” she continued. “So you can just sit on that doorstep and instead of putting your ENTIRE BRAINS into getting to the next level on MINECRAFT, you can apply them to CHANGING MY MIND about letting you back in. And don’t you dare touch that dustbin or I shall sell you to the HUNGER GAMES.”
Then, with a toss of her bowler-hatted head, she flounced back into the house and slammed the door.
“Mummeee!” Shouting and crying erupted from my own basement. “Mummeee!”
“Want to come back in?” I said to Jude.
“No, no, it’s fine,” Jude said, happy now, getting to her feet. “You’re completely right. I have made the right choice. Just a bit hungover. I just need to have breakfast and a Bloody Mary at Soho House and read the papers and I’ll be fine. Thanks, Bridge. Love you. Byee!”
Then she teetered off in her Versace knee-length gladiator sandals, looking hungoverly fabulous.
I looked back across the street. The three boys were sitting in a line on the doorstep.
“Everything all right?” I said.
The dark-haired son grinned. “Yeah, it’s fine. She just gets like this. She’ll be all right in a minute.”
He glanced behind him to check the door was still closed, and pulled an iPod out of his pocket. Then the boys started giggling, moved closer together, and bent over the iPod.