Review: Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

Review: Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen FieldingBridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding
Series: Bridget Jones #1
Published by Penguin on 1999-06-01
Pages: 288
Goodreads | Buy on Amazon

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!"

I came into this book having seen the movie. I still haven’t decided which is better. Does one have to be better than the other?

In any case, I really liked this book. I love that it’s set up as a diary, as well. Although, I will say that I often skipped the date headings … so sometimes I didn’t know what month I was in. I read some review on Goodreads that mentioned that it just didn’t seem realistic that she could keep a minute-by-minute diary as everything happened. I don’t think that’s what she did. I tend to think that Bridget wrote down everything toward the end of the evening. She could count her drinks/cigarettes/lottery tickets better that way.

What surprised me about Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding is that there are quite a few feminist themes in it. Bridget’s friend Sharon calls the games men play: “fuckwittage” and tells them all that they’re better off without men who play “fuckwittage.” If you’re interested in reading more about Bridget Jones’s Diary and feminism, you can go to this link.*

The only thing that I didn’t like about the story is the Bridget’s mom/Julio fraud story line. I guess people get duped every day, but I’d like to think her mom was smarter than that. Still, it makes for a zany story.

Bridget may seem like a caricature because she has so many flaws, vices, and mishaps, but really Fielding is making her relate-able to almost every woman. We’ve obsessed about weight, men, smoking, our appearances, etc. for so long. Bridget embodies all of our insecurities. And you know what? It’s ok. She ends up happy. I think Fielding tells us, through Bridget, that we’re going to be ok, too.

*Note: I’d love to give credit to this person but the blog is noticeably devoid of any contact information. The link will have to suffice.

four-stars

© 2012 – 2014, Jessica Workman Holland. All rights reserved.

  • I think they are different enough that they can be appreciated on their own 🙂 I had read the book first so I pictured Bridge differently but I liked both the movie and the book for different reasons!!

    Either way you have to appreciate the hot mess that is Bridg!

    • Jessica

      Yes! Hot mess, indeed. I saw the movie first so I pictured the characters as they were portrayed in the movie. If you go from that direction, it’s not far off.

  • I saw the movie and found out about the book later. Great review. I like that woman can relate to Bridget. Awesome review!

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