THE LATEST Bridget Jones adventure has two timelines in disarray. One, Bridget Jones’s Baby, the movie, released just before the book. Second, why would an author time travel over a decade to the past to write about an incident that we already know the consequences of? Which is the case with the fourth installment of Bridget Jones’s Diary, which comes after Mad About the Boy, in which Bridget is Mark Darcy’s widow with two children.
Capitalising on a hit brand seems to be the norm, especially in publishing, albeit one that leaves caught-in-a-marketing-frenzy readers a tad disappointed (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, anyone?). Bridget Jones’s Baby is just another addition to the same category.
In the fourth book, Bridget’s world is its usual chaotic mess. However, she has reason to be upbeat. She has lost weight, has a job, a car and a house of her own. What’s not right is her status of seemingly perpetual singledom. Apparently, things didn’t work out with Darcy when he caught her in an inebriated embarrassing state with Daniel Cleaver at their engagement party.
But things change five years later at a christening ceremony when Bridget encounters a helicopter-delivered Darcy again. He is at his stiffest best, but both can’t keep their hands off each other. After a passionate night, however, Darcy is back to his cold self, vowing not to use up any more of Bridget’s child-bearing years.
A few days later, Bridget meets ever-horny Cleaver, and the inevitable happens. Bridget finds herself pregnant, and all hell breaks loose, not because of the pregnancy, but because Bridget doesn’t know who the father is. Being called a geriatric mother doesn’t help either.
By now, readers are no longer surprised at Bridget’s clumsy and tardy nature. So when she serves her (highly sceptical) guests muffins with glass shards, it raises no laughs. Nor does the fact surprise anyone that the pregnancy happened because of expired condoms. Classic Bridget that!
The identity of the father is no mystery either, what with Mad About the Boy leaving nothing in suspense. As a result, what should have been the first chapter or two in Mad About the Boy is just an average, over-stretched book in Bridget Jones’s Baby.