Review

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason

by Helen Fielding



In BRIDGET JONES: The Edge of Reason, we rejoin Bridget a month
after the end of the phenomenal bestseller BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY.
If you enjoyed the first book, then you will surely enjoy this
second romp with Bridget, Mark, Shaz, Jude, Magda, and Bridget's
crazy folks. All the characters are back and they haven't really
changed a bit.
For
those of you who were not voyeurs into Bridget Jones's life, a
quick update is in order. Bridget is a thirty-something singleton
working on a television show in London. Like many single women, she
has been fed a steady diet of fashion magazines and self-help
books, which have nearly destroyed her ability to form a healthy,
stable relationship with the opposite sex.
At
the end of the first book, Bridget found the love of her life ---
rich, handsome, and kind Mark Darcy. Now, in THE EDGE OF REASON,
she adjusts to her new status as one half of a couple. But Bridget
is so busy turning to her friends and books for advice, she fails
to realize what effect it is having on Mark until she overhears him
discussing their relationship: "This self-help book nonsense -- all
these mythical rules of conduct you're presumed to be following.
And you just know every move you make is being dissected by a
committee of girlfriends according to some breathtakingly arbitrary
code… "
Bridget begins to doubt Mark's affection --- especially when
beautiful, aggressive, and fabulously wealthy Rebecca enters the
scene. She is a jellyfisher. According to Bridget, "You have a
conversation with her that seems all nice and friendly, then you
suddenly feel like you've been stung and you don't know where it
came from."
Rebecca's interference combined with Bridget's lack of
communication skills quickly derails the relationship with Mark.
Bridget is on her own again --- worrying about how to get Mark back
in her life, getting her crazy boss Richard to stop giving her
embarrassing assignments, and trying to get an addition on her flat
finished when her wayward builder leaves a gaping hole in the wall
and disappears with her £3,500. And, of course, there are her
endless efforts to curtail her eating, boozing, and
smoking!
Bridget writes, "Am so confused. Whole dating world is like
hideous game of bluff and double bluff with men and women firing at
each other from opposite lines of sandbags. Is as if there is a set
of rules that you are supposed to be sticking to, but no one knows
what they are so everyone just makes up their own."
While I wish this book had explored the early stages of a
relationship instead of going back to the beginning, it is
entertaining to snoop into these characters' lives. Each person is
at a different stage in a relationship and every relationship ---
no matter how perfect it seems on the surface --- has problems, and
it is a constant struggle to make the coupling work.
From
the streets of London to the beaches of Thailand to the fountains
of Rome, Bridget does not disappoint. There is even a guest role
for Colin Firth, the brooding and sexy actor who played Mr. Darcy
in the amazing mini-series "Pride and Prejudice." At times I wanted
to wring Bridget Jones's neck and scream, "Just talk to Mark Darcy
and clear up all of this nonsense!" Then I remembered how easy it
is to obsess over a new relationship, and how quickly a trivial
misunderstanding can destroy it --- and I realized just how on
target Helen Fielding is with her observations of the dating
pitfalls that surround men and women of nearly every age on every
continent.
This
diary chronicles Bridget's life in 1997 --- the year Tony Blair
became Prime Minister and Princess Diana died. Helen Fielding
explores the election of Tony Blair in depth, relating the mood of
England as the political system shifts.
I
approached the month of August with curiosity. I wanted to read
Bridget's reaction to the tragic car accident that shocked the
world --- especially since a British reader indicated that the
section dealing with Princess Diana was extremely moving. But the
incident was never mentioned in my book.
A
quick call to the publisher confirmed that there were several minor
changes between the UK and the American Bridget and the scenes
about Diana's death didn't make the cut. Now I understand that the
American publisher may want to Americanize the book to make it
easier to understand. Changing Bridget's weight from stones to
pounds is acceptable. Removing a major plot twist because it may
"date" a book is not. Now I wonder what else has been left out of
the edition that the publisher thought I would be unable to
understand or comprehend. It also makes me wonder what's been left
out of the Henry Potter books that I've been devouring!

Reviewed by Michelle Filippo on January 21, 2011

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason
by Helen Fielding

  • Publication Date: February 28, 2000
  • Genres: Humor
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult
  • ISBN-10: 0670892963
  • ISBN-13: 9780670892969