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Bridget Jones - The Edge Of Reason by Helen Fielding - Book Review

Title
Author
Publisher

Bridget Jones - The Edge Of Reason
Helen Fielding
Picador

Fiction-Net Rating 4 Star Rated Book

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Cover Story

The Wilderness Years are over! But not for long. At the end of Bridget Jones's Diary, Bridget hiccuped off into the sunset with man-of-her-dreams Mark Darcy. Now in The Edge Of Reason, Bridget discovers what it is like when you have the man of your dreams actually in your flat and he hasn't done the washing up, not just the whole of this week but ever.

Lurching through a morass of self-help book theories and mad advice from Jude and Shazzer, struggling with a boyfriend-stealing ex-friend with thighs like a baby giraffe, an eight foot hole in the living-room wall, a mother obsessed with boiled-egg peelers and a builder obsessed with large reservoir fish, Bridget Jones embarks on a spiritual epiphany, which takes her from the cappuccino queues of Notting Hill to the palm - and magic mushroom - kissed shores of... Bridget is back!

We Say

After reading the first instalment of Bridget Jones's Diary, my only complaint was that I found the plot a little flimsy. As for the main character - I thought she was great. The book certainly managed to hit on something with women who went out and bought it in their hundreds of thousands (probably millions now that the film tie-in has come out) but before long, feminists began to declare loudly that the needy Bridget Jones was a poor role model - weak-willed, self-conscious and dependent on a man for her own happiness. In fact, poor old Bridget is flawed, or, in other words, she's human.

One of my many flaws is that I resisted buying the second Bridget Jones novel, 'The Edge of Reason', because I believed all these Moaning Minnies. I felt as though my feminist principles would be compromised if I happened to enjoy the antics of this particular heroine (and yes, Minnies, she is indeed a heroine). I know I shouldn't like her - but I do. And what's more, I like her even better in this second book.

Bridget Jones - The Edge of Reason has seen Helen Fielding improve on her creation and construct a plot that's worthy of her this time. It's so funny that you really will laugh out loud. And that's not just me deploying a standard book review phrase - I was averaging a noisy throwing-head-back-type-laugh almost every page. Some of the situations that Bridget finds herself in are slightly contrived but this is easily forgivable when the main character is so clearly conceived and the pace so fast. Without giving too much away, the good news is that the plot takes Bridget Jones out of her usual habitat for part of the novel, which works incredibly well.

The ensemble cast is an important part of the strength of the book - Bridget's Mum is as loony as ever, her mates are as disarrayed and wonderful and Mark Darcy is a dream. A strange twist to enjoy is the appearance of Colin Firth as a character (although this will be slightly weird if you're relying on his recent film portrayal to visualise Mark Darcy).

Bridget might not be everyone's idea of a role model but she is a compelling figure and great fun to spend some time with.

It's worth mentioning for those of you who have seen the movie version of this second book is that the written version is considerably better. Parts of the movie have no bearing to the book itself, with entire events being added solely for the on-screen version.

Review by: Rachel Taylor

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