Bridget Jones’s Baby: The Diaries by Helen Fielding

I really enjoyed the newest installment in the Bridget Jones film franchise – the only thing missing was Hugh Grant’s rakishly irresistible Daniel Cleaver. The book fills this gap, returning Daniel to his accustomed place as Bridget’s on-off lover and rival to hearthrob Mark Darcy. In most other respects, the book follows the film’s plot almost exactly, with minor deviations in the lives of Bridget’s friends and family.

Bridget Jones’s Baby is a vast, vast improvement on the terrible Mad About the Boy, which was nothing more than a lengthy cringe sandwiched between hardback covers. It also improves on Fielding’s Independent column, which followed on from The Edge of Reason by again having Bridget fall pregnant, but this time undoubtedly by Daniel. I don’t remember much more of it than that (it must have been at least ten years ago, because I recall reading it in sixth form and finding the whole experience increasingly odd, lacking the magic which made Bridget such a household name in the first place).

The fun is definitely back here, and I admit to laughing out loud on the train when Bridget tries to spice up her birth announcement template by announcing her own death in childbirth – and of course accidentally sending it to her entire contact list.

A perfect holiday read, and a welcome addition to the franchise.

[Read from 20-21 October 2016]

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