Mad About Mark

Bridget Jones Mad About The Boy
Helen Fielding

In the end, I enjoyed reading Mad About The Boy and would definitely recommend it to other fans of Bridget Jones.

The book is certainly not perfect. The plot is pre-cooked, having been kept in the oven since 1999; Bridget’s age – she is now a fifty something widow with children – has taken away something of her edge; and the samey-ness of the support cast means it barely supports itself let alone her .

And yet, there is enough of the old humour and life in the story of Bridget’s attempts to find a man to sleep and, let’s not call her totally shallow, spend her life with, to justify Mad About The Boy‘s existence.

***

Speaking of which – we would not have this story except for the end of one person’s on earth: Mark Darcy, Bridget’s beloved. Mad About The Boy picks up Bridget’s story a few years after his untimely, but unsurprisingly heroic, death.

If I have a problem with this book, it is Mark’s death. He was such an great character that his absence leaves a really deep hole in the narrative.

And for me, it is one that neither his indirect (Roxster, the boy of the title) or his ultimate replacement (Mr Wallaker) come close to replacing. Mark was killed off too cheaply. I regret that very much.

If, like me, you held a torch for Mark Darcy, you will read the first half of Mad About The Boy feeling the pain of his death and most of the second wondering how Bridget seems to have forgotten about him all-of-a-sudden. When his name returns to the page later on, it is overshadowed by the emergence of Mr Wallaker as Bridget’s ultimate beau.

When that happens, you may well think to yourself Well, he’s nice, but actually, he is just a clone of Mark Darcy. And then Mad About The Boy will end and you’ll wonder if, however much you enjoyed it, it was really worth the sacrifice of a beloved character.

In my view, it wasn’t. With this book we leave the table of delights and stoop to pick up the crumbs. I would rather have remained hungry.

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