Bridget Moans: Not so mad about this one (oh boy).
Well I’m guessing by the title you can see I wasn’t terribly impressed. I wasn’t. But I still managed to read it in 3 days so unbearable would be a stretch.
Bridget’s character was “floundering” to borrow Fielding’s term, but not just in the personal sense. Having lost Mark Darcy four years prior to the books’ beginning, we meet a character who is half back to where we started in the 90s and half a completely different person. The book skips over the gaps between the then and now, which makes ‘old-bridget-dying-for-a-shag-and/orfag’ and ‘new-bridget-heartbroken-widow-mother-clutching-at-ricecakes’ incongruous.
As for her obsession with her number of Twitter followers it just shallows her character, making her relationship with Darcy the ‘leading international human rights lawyer’ who died as a result of his dedication to world peace seem odd on reflection. That’s my pick at the character development. Fielding’s humour and insight into the female psyche is still good nevertheless.
The plot however was my biggest problem. There wasn’t one – well certainly not an original one. Right down to the snow-scaped ending romance scene it just came out as a jumble of the old book recycled into an opportunity to name drop every current event that occurred in 2012/13 just so it well and truly is recognisable as a ‘Bridget in the age of the internet’. The effect of this, rather than making it relevant, is to ensure that in a few years time it will be hopelessly dated.
Mr. Wallaker is instantly recognisable as a Darcy figure and the ending is as predictable as Bridget’s misdemeanours. Her affair with the ‘boy’ though mildly entertaining isn’t delivered as anything groundbreaking or even exciting – which was disappointing as it potentially could have been. It’s just a rehashing of the original – first affair with someone who turns out to be inappropriate and ending up with someone initially overlooked. This would all be fine – essentially there are only seven plots etc. However Fielding (and Bridget) have both already been there.
In short, Fielding’s original Pride and Prejudice model thrives off its happy ending, girl done-good-theme and it was wholly unnecessary to make Bridget jump through such hoops again to come out with a quasi-identical conclusion. The sorrow she felt at the loss of Darcy, had it been more thoroughly explored, would have been a far more original insight into Bridget’s character.
Not a chore to read but slightly nonsensical, lacking originality and containing (literally) too many ‘cheesy’ moments.
By Anna Carling