From Jackie Cantwell
author: Fielding, Helen
Bridget Jones’s diary
I saw the movie before reading the book. This is the classic book that spawned Chick Lit. It holds up well (it was published in 1996). Some of the British-isms take getting used to: such as “fag” for cigarette and “flat” for apartment. Each diary entry is prefaced by how many cigarettes she smoked, how much she weighs, the circumference of her thighs, how much alcohol she drank, calories consumed, and in parentheses if it was good or bad, and any mitigating factors leading to such behavior. In later entries, she also adds number of lottery tickets purchased, how many panic attacks or negative thoughts, and how many times she dialed 1471 (the equivalent of *69).
Bridget is a winsome, bumbling heroine. She goes to dinner parties attended by Smug Marrieds, who say all sorts of derogatory things to her, a Singleton, such as ” Your biological clock is ticking”; and “You still don’t have a boyfriend, Old Girl?.” She works at a publishing firm reading manuscripts. She starts an affair with her boss, Daniel Cleaver. All along, she keeps running into the son of her parents’ friends, Mark Darcy, a human rights lawyer (or barrister, as they say. Interestingly, the text mentions the actors Hugh Grant and Colin Firth, who play Daniel and Mark in the film, respectively. The book is funny and relatable; I didn’t want it to end.