Bridget Jones’s Diary

Meet Bridget Jones—a 30-something Singleton who is certain she would have all the answers if she could:

a. lose 7 pounds

b. stop smoking

c. develop Inner Poise

“123 lbs. (how is it possible to put on 4 pounds in the middle of the night? Could flesh have somehow solidified becoming denser and heavier? Repulsive, horrifying notion), alcohol units 4 (excellent), cigarettes 21 (poor but will give up totally tomorrow), number of correct lottery numbers 2 (better, but nevertheless useless)…”

Bridget Jones’ Diary is the devastatingly self-aware, laugh-out-loud daily chronicle of Bridget’s permanent, doomed quest for self-improvement — a year in which she resolves to: reduce the circumference of each thigh by 1.5 inches, visit the gym three times a week not just to buy a sandwich, form a functional relationship with a responsible adult, and learn to program the VCR.

Over the course of the year, Bridget loses a total of 72 pounds but gains a total of 74. She remains, however, optimistic. Through it all, Bridget will have you helpless with laughter, and — like millions of readers the world round — you’ll find yourself shouting, “Bridget Jones is me!”

Summary from goodreads

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I’m not a big New Year’s Eve person. I never have been. So, rather than going out, I have always been in the camp of people who stays home, watches movies and drinks mulled wine. NYE for me and my tribe tends to mean British rom coms from the early 2000s, specifically Love Actually followed by Bridget Jones’s Diary. So long as Hugh Grant is either fighting or dancing, we’re in.

I’ve read Bridget Jones’s Diary before, but years ago when I was still in my teens. I figured I was well overdue for a reread – especially now that I am, sort of, an adult.

Though it is an 90s as can be – at one point Bridget is battling with her VCR, and there’s a lot of discussion about calling 1471 to see if you’ve missed a phone call while you were out (landlines! Lol!) – Helen Fielding’s comic take on middle class single womanhood remains very funny in 2018. It’s kind of like Georgia Nicholson, but for adults.

Bridget Jones’s Diary is a masterfully crafted satire that takes shots at everything from the self-help industry, to feminism and TV news and, most of all, dating. The book manages to be even more ridiculous than the movie – at one point, Bridget’s mother is on the run from the law – and though he isn’t in it as much as I would like, Mark Darcy somehow even more attractive. If you’re into the whole stern man thing, which I very much am.

The book chronicles Bridget stumbling through successes, failures and embarrassments (favourite moment: when Bridget runs into her recently ex-boyfriend, Daniel at an art exhibition and tries to escape by running into a portaloo that turns out to be part of the exhibit ‘I burst into the cubicle and was just about to get on with it when I realized that the toilet was actually a moulding of the inside of a toilet, vacuum-packed in plastic. Then Daniel put his head around the door. “Bridge, don’t wee on the Installation, will you?” he said, and closed the door again.’ ).

It’s a sweet, funny, cringe-worthy and relatable read that I would recommend to any women I know. Lately it’s been difficult being a female-identifying person. The news is full of stories of sexual harassment, assault and coercion, and, of course, the inevitable #MeToo backlash, that the world can feel like kind of hostile place sometimes. It was really nice, in between cocktails with friends having the is it all men though? I know it’s supposed to be not all men but it’s really starting to feel like all men conversations, to pick up a book whose only real aim was to make me laugh.

Sometimes the best thing you can do is to let yourself laugh, and Bridget Jones’s Diary will certainly help you do that.

PS I also highly recommend The Edge of Reason. I haven’t read it since I was 19 and working in Caffe Nero, but I remember it clearly because one day I missed my bus to work because it was making me laugh so much. That was a fun one to explain to my boss.

Author: Lydia Tewkesbury

27. Loves a good story.

28 thoughts on “Bridget Jones’s Diary”

  1. Oh fantastic review ❤ I remember seeing the book around in my home somewhere, but I can't remember reading it – some other member of my family must have, though. I'll have to dig that one out and read it at some point. I've seen the movie multiple times and loved it. I think that one would be a great read for me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am new year’s eve party person too. I prefer to stay at home and cuddle with book and blanket.😊 Ooh I heard Bridget Jones’s diary often but never interested to pick it up. Your review change my mind. I am now curious! Thank you! 😊 Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great review! 🙂
    I have loved all the Bridget Jones films but have somehow never read any of the books, but I may have to now! It sounds even funnier than the film (the portaloo thing sounds hilarious!), and I feel like I don’t read enough books that make me laugh 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve never actually read this, only seen the film (I know, shame on me 😉 ) but I really like how you describe this taking shots at everything. I really enjoy biting satire. And any book that makes you late for work is well worth checking out 😉 Great review!

    Like

    1. Thanks! Haha, no judgement re. only having seen the film. It is a very nineties reading experience, but definitely worth picking up if you ever have the time. It’s so much harder when you’re a blogger though – I get very town between wanting to reread old faves and keep up with everything new.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great review 🙂 good memories – I read this when I was like 14 and laughed and laughed and laughed 😀 but I feel like it’s tome for a reread too, mostly because I wonder if I’ll feel the same. I fear about books I read back in my teens sometimes – I wasn’t aware of racism, sexism or even cliches in books back then – god knows if I can trust my own opinions from back then. So I’m glad to see you still approving from that book in a ‘sane’ age 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know exactly what you mean – reading anything from the 90s and further back is a problematic minefield! I don’t think I picked up on anything very terrible of Bridget Jones – the most jarring thing was all the talk about VCRs, haha.

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  6. More ridiculous than the movie, you say? How is that possible? XD And also, I’m super intrigued?
    I love Bridget Jones’s Diary and it’s always a Christmas tradition of mine to watch it, sometimes with my mother, and we both end up cracking up no matter whether we’ve seen those scenes a thousand times.
    I agree that it’s very relatable and aged really well. I think when you watch it in your teens, it’s hilarious because it’s so much fun and over the top. But when you watch it as an adult, you laugh because it’s just so spot on in relation to your own life hahaha
    I’m glad you enjoyed it so much and you’re right, it’s exactly what we need in the middle of all this chaos. I’ve started Sophie Kinsella, who’s also a wonderful feel-good author for when you want something warm and fuzzy and an escape from dreadful reality.
    Wonderful review, Lydia ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so funny – so much of the stuff I watched when I was a teenager (thinking especially of Friends which I have of course been watching hours of since it came on Netflix) is relevant to my life now in ways it never was before (I’m 25). It’s a very weird feeling!

      I haven’t ever read any Sophie Kinsella, but I’ve heard good things. Sometimes you just need to read a light, funny romance to put the world to rights!

      Like

  7. I really love your header! I’m 22 and am still trying to figure out how to be an adult, hah.

    I hadn’t heard of Bridget Jones’s Diary (actually, maybe I’d heard of the movie before but I didn’t know it was a book). I find it interesting that Jones’s 90s struggles still translate to today, I wonder if that’s because you’re old enough to have experienced some of those struggles. Will next decade’s 20-year-olds get it?

    I’ve been looking for a lighthearted book to add to my list, since I’ve been adding so many heavy reads lately. Def going to add this one 😀

    Liked by 1 person

      1. No worries, life gets busy lol.
        TBH at least your blog has a name. I registered a domain in my name cuz I couldn’t think of anything. “Swallow Song” is just an English translation of one of my nicknames xD

        Liked by 1 person

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