134lb (g), calories 2000 (vg), embarrassing sexual encounters while reading this book 0, hours of life lost reading this book 7, despair over state of British publishing – total.
Bridget Jones is getting older. In the third volume of her diary she is 51, the mother of two children and recently widowed. Who would have dreamed of that? It is a startling alteration in the fortunes of Helen Fielding’s chronically self-doubting heroine, who was played in two movie adaptations by Renée Zellweger. Surely no one could go through the loss of a spouse without becoming a great deal wiser than the carefree single-
ton so many young women identified with in the 1990s. The death of Jones’s husband in tragic circumstances could easily overshadow the novel, taking Fielding into uncharted territory. Killing off Mark Darcy, who famously fought with Daniel Cleaver for Jones’s affections in the earlier books, feels like a radical departure from a very successful formula.
So here is the introduction to one of Bridget’s diary entries in 2012, four years after Darcy’s death: ‘175lb, alcohol units 4 (nice), calories 2822 (but better eating real food in club than bits of old cheese and fish fingers at home), possibility of having