#19 A Review of Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason by Helen Fielding

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Bridget Jones is back and better than ever in her second novel entitled Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason.  Enticed by Helen Fielding’s first work in the series, Bridget Jones’ Diary, I couldn’t stand not knowing how Bridget got on (as they say in England).  Influenced by Jane Austen’s Persuasion, Fielding throws us back into the world of Bridget via her hysterical diary entries for another trip as we get to see what makes this interesting woman tick.

Bridget Jones has been dating her boyfriend Mark Darcy for four weeks!  Life is great: her weight is down, she’s smoking less, and her relationship is going fantastic (at least she thinks it is).  Mark begins talking about a woman he works with more and more, dropping little “Rebecca” bombs here and there.  When Bridget meets Rebecca out at a bar one evening and finds out about a law society dinner that Mark hasn’t mentioned yet, she loses it.  Being a self-help book junkie she begins thinking the worst about her relationship.  Her worrying leads to nothing, as Mark asks her to the dinner a few days later.  The law dinner comes and goes, as does a very special Valentine’s day where Mark tells Bridget that he loves her.  The two soon find themselves invited to Rebecca’s parents country estate for a mini-break where Rebecca does everything in her power to separate Bridget and Mark.  Rebecca wants Mark as her own so bad that she tells her nephew that Bridget and Mark are breaking up and that Bridget is free for the taking.  He tries to kiss Bridget, and before she can throw him off Mark and Rebecca walk in and see everything.  The two end their weekend by breaking up which sets Bridget into a major funk.  Will Bridget ever be able to convince Mark that he’s the only one she loves?

Helen Fielding has created one of the FUNNIEST literary characters ever with Bridget Jones.  I literally could not stop laughing with this book.  Those who have read the first Bridget Jones book know that Bridget is OBSESSED with Colin Firth, especially Colin Firth as Fitzwilliam Darcy.  Fielding writes an eight page interview between Bridget and Colin Firth that is honestly one of the funniest things I’ve ever read.  The way Fielding writes Bridget’s thoughts are uncanny, making me feel as though I were reading my own thoughts at times.

I really liked the pace of the novel as well.  It moved along at a quick enough pace to make the reader enjoy the story but not feel bogged down by detail.  Fielding writes a lot of things with abbreviations and short hand, which makes The Edge of Reason a fairly fast read.  The way in which she infuses her work with the Persuasion storyline works perfectly and naturally. 

For those fans who have seen the movie version, be prepared for some major differences.  Daniel Cleaver does not have a large portrayal in the book at all.  He is limited to part of a scene here and there.  Instead, the book is filled with additional hysterical storylines, with my personal favorite being the one about the construction worker who blows a hole in Bridget’s wall and leaves it there for the course of the entire novel.

This book is chock-full of the relationship ups and downs that many women experience in life.  What’s great about Fielding’s writing is that she makes fun of the way women sometimes react, such as the obsession with self-help books and the advice our friends and parents give us.  She finds humor in the way we exaggerate every little event in life, and that’s what makes her books so enjoyable.  I highly recommend the series for people with a great sense of humor.  You won’t be left wanting with this series.

4 out of 5 Stars

This is my fifth completed review for the Page to Screen Challenge

Penguin Group (2001)
Paperback 352 pages
ISBN: 9780140298475

New Year; New Challenges

January 1, 2011.  It’s the official beginning of my new challenge!!  I have 365 days to read 100 books.  I’m partaking in two reading challenges this year (that I’ve signed up for so far) so 11 of those books are the Jane Austen mystery series and 20 of them will be historical fiction novels. I’m excited that I’m mixing it up this year and doing some reading challenges as well.  I think it will help keep me motivated throughout the year. 

I’m really looking forward to some of the titles that I’ve decided to read this year.  I have a very eclectic group to read so far.  Some of the titles include:

  1. The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory
  2. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (It’s the 200 year anniversary of the book this year!)
  3. Little Children by Tom Perrotta
  4. Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason by Helen Fielding
  5. V For Vendetta by Alan Moore
  6. Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
  7. You Better Not Cry by Augusten Burroughs
  8. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  9. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  10. The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo by Stieg Larsson
  11. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  12. Stardust by Neil Gaiman
  13. The House at Riverton by Kate Morton
  14. Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris

I have a much bigger list than this, but I’m really looking forward to the specific books above!

So now that my new challenge has begun I would like to encourage you guys to do your own challenges.  You don’t have to read 100 books like I do, but you can do something similar to Todd and try for between 25 and 50.  You are always welcome to post on the blog thoughts about your own reading challenges or about specific books.

If you decide to do a challenge: Good Luck and Happy Reading!