This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Kelly Allen
Bridget is now in her 50’s and, since the tragic death of Mark, she has been doing her best to raise their two adorable children, Billy and Mabel. On top of this, she is juggling work, her appearance, and her new 30 year old boyfriend, Roxster. Between the school run, nits and competitive parenting, Bridget is exhausted by the rest of life.
Keeping up appearances for the world, Bridget flits from food to sex whilst trying to maintain a healthy relationship with Roxster, and be the best parent she can be to Billy and Mabel. Finally something has to give and she realises that, as long as she is true to herself and her children come first and foremost, that is all that matters (even if that means losing Roxster). With Roxster undecided on whether to proceed with their relationship, Daniel on the verge of rehab (again!) and all the other issues life throws at Bridget, she decides it is time to focus on her children and their happiness and stability.
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But, as always with Bridget, she is the last person to realise the final piece of her jigsaw has been there all along…
Okay, so I have to confess that I had only read the first Bridget Jones book before reading this one, but I absolutely loved it, and the unique diary style that began Bridget’s journey is still here in the third installment. However, it comes with more witty stream of conscious thoughts and insights into the trials and tribulations of having two children, whilst trying to maintain a semblance of still being a ‘grown up’ and having some sort of social life slotted in between school runs and the dating world.Basically, Bridget is run ragged between trying to look and feel good, having a relationship, taking care of two children and working on a screenplay. I mostly loved the moments she shared with her children, especially when Bridget and Mabel are in the GP surgery and Mabel starts to read the sexual health leaflets out loud; true cringeworthy parenting moments. The bond between Bridget and her children is evident, but the peer pressure Bridget experiences to find a man, let alone her grief that bubbles to the surface now and again, causes some tense moments where she questions her ability. She later comes to her senses whilst digesting the contents of the fridge; most notable for me was the cabbage eating scene – simply hilarious!
The only downside to the book was how little her deceased husband Mark was mentioned; Bridget would reminisce and cry and then move on (classic British stiff upper lip syndrome), but I wanted more of her grief. I wanted to see the raw side of her and less of the calorie counting, man hunting side. When it comes to the men in Bridget’s life, Roxster annoyed me quite a lot, but then the name ‘Roxster’ annoyed me from the start. Although it was obvious that they clicked, the immaturity level was a bit much and even though he said he was joking, he persistently wound her up about her age and I ended up wishing he would dump her so she could do better. The ‘I heart you’ moments between them also felt very cheesy and fell flat for me.
I really loved the parenting side of things; trying to make other Mummy friends, attempting to schedule work around children and dealing with all the other issues that come with the territory of having children (mostly involving spillages, nits and sick). These were laugh out loud moments that I could relate to, and it made me feel more normal as a mother; it even made me truly appreciate the fact that I am not doing it alone. However, as I previously mentioned, more Mark related thoughts and moments would have made the book that much more heartfelt.
I also thought there was very little mention of Bridget’s father’s death; two of the most important men in her life are gone and the book flits occasionally to thoughts about them, but not as much as dating rules or how to deal with dating a younger man. Perhaps the point was to show how you deal with grief and carry on without jumping off a cliff and joining them?
The characters are strong and memorable, but for me the children stood out more and gave me the most joy and laughter throughout the book. I am not sure if this is because I have two children myself, but they were hilarious, witty and honest, which makes the aging adults in the book look like lost, youth-longing winos (then again, some adults I know are just that!).
Although there felt like there was a lot missing regarding the grief side of Bridget’s life, the positive spin was all about living life and not letting demons drag you down. Bridget’s happy ending starts with her two children, the way it really should be.
I would recommend reading this book, but don’t expect Bridget to have drastically changed in any way, which in my opinion is a very good thing!