Bridget Jones’ Baby by Helen Fielding – Book Review

Title: Bridget Jones’ Baby: The Diaries

Series: Bridget Jones #4

Author: Helen Fielding

Genre/Themes: Contemporary, Comedy, Motherhood, Love

Blurb from Goodreads

Before motherhood, before marriage, Bridget with biological clock ticking very, very loudly, finds herself unexpectedly pregnant at the eleventh hour: a joyful pregnancy which is dominated, however, by a crucial but terribly awkward question – who is the father? Mark Darcy: honourable, decent, notable human rights lawyer? Or Daniel Cleaver: charming, witty, notable fuckwit?

In this gloriously funny, touching story of baby-deadline panic, maternal bliss, and social, professional, technological, culinary and childbirth chaos, Bridget Jones – global phenomenon and the world’s favourite Singleton – is back with a bump.

My Review

Who doesn’t love Bridget Jones?????? She’s just one of those characters that seems to have endeared herself to readers because we can all see traces of ourselves in her. And then there are the film adaptations which have made her a global icon of sorts!

So book one and book two in the Bridget Jones series correspond with film one and film two; there are some plot and character differences between the two but for the most part the story is the same.

Then there was the third book…. Mad About the Boy. Less we say about THAT one the better….

And now we are on to book four called Bridget Jones’ Baby which pretty much corresponds with film three also entitled Bridget Jones’ Baby

It’s difficult not to compare the two when reviewing the book as the plot is similar but the participating characters are different. Daniel Cleaver, played by Hugh Grant, doesn’t appear in the film and is instead replaced by a character called Jack Qwant, played by none other than McDreamy himself Patrick Dempsey.

So the basic plot is that we now meet a slightly older Bridget who is single once again and after sleeping with two different men within a few days of each other becomes pregnant and doesn’t know who the father is… And hi-jinx ensue!

In the film the two men in question are Mark Darcy (Colin Firth I will love you forever) and Jack Qwant, whereas in the book the potential daddies are either Mark or Daniel Cleaver.

And I have to say I prefer the film! I KNOW!!!!!!

It’s just so rare for a film to be better than the book but this time the film wins hands down. It is funnier, the setup is more believable etc etc.

My main problem with the book is the use of Daniel’s character.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Daniel. He is the perfect cad. You know you shouldn’t go near him because he is utterly toxic and a complete player. So one would think that Bridget would have found some level of maturity, or indeed self-control around him by her late 30s or early 40s or whatever age she’s supposed to be now!?!?!?

In the book it is explained VERY quickly and almost shambolically that Daniel is the reason for Mark and Bridget breaking up and it just was so messy! Without giving away too much detail, the explanation and reasoning for the break up didn’t work. It was just almost there as a cheap laugh sadly…

And then how she hooked up with Daniel… Again, it didn’t work. And this really hurts me to say it!! Because he’s such a wonderful character and could have had a much more effective and humorous impact on the story if used in a different manner.

In the film the introduction of a new love interest in the shape of McDreamy just seemed more plausible, even if he was implausibly perfect at times! But what the introduction of the character of Jack in the film did was to really confuse Bridget by making her properly question her true feelings for Mark, and then force her to decide what she really wanted from her life. Whereas the book lacked any of this emotional conflict because Daniel as a potential daddy was always going to be flakey!

And Mark’s storyline in the book….with the painting…..errrrrrrr that was just weird and VERY unMarkDarcy!!

And also the storyline with Bridget’s mum was, at the risk of repeating myself, just better in the film…

Shazza, Miranda, Tom….Bridget’s friends…again, better storylines in the film!

Neither the book nor the film are incredibly original, but the film is so much funnier with a stronger, better executed storyline. The book, sadly, is disappointing to this Bridget Jones fan whereas the film is not.

The book itself is very short; I think I read it in approximately the same amount of time it takes to watch the film. Well maybe it took an afternoon, I can’t quite remember accurately, but it really is a super quick read with sadly no feeling of a meaty core to really sink your teeth into.

So I suggest that you watch the film instead. Leave the Bridget Jones books and columns to the mid-to-late 1990s. That’s when they were at their best.

Helen Fielding still has a wonderfully witty way of writing but it just lacks freshness. For the film’s screenplay she was ably assisted by Dan Mazer and Emma Thompson, and in my opinion their input must have been the key to making the world of Bridget Jones a wonderful place to visit again.

Sadly this book only gets One and a half stars …..That I am rounding up to two because I love these characters too much to award any less but really it was a one star read….*sad face*

And now I’m off to cheer myself up by rewatching the original film…

…..some hours later

I just rewatched it, and I laughed and laughed all over again! There’s something so wonderfully familiar and comfortable in watching an old favourite film when you’re tired and in need of a restorative boost to the soul.

Bridget Jones I really do love you!

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