With the BBC Big Read looming large on my bucket list, classics such as Ulysses, The Grapes of Wrath and War and Peace await my eager eyes. My first official choice, however, was the holy grail of chick lit, and one which essentially defined the 20th century. I refer, of course, to English novelist and screenwriter, Helen Fielding’s tale of a singleton in London who is desperately trying to make sense of life and love; none other than the one and only Bridget Jones.
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that when one part of your life starts going okay, another falls spectacularly to pieces.”
The first thing that comes to mind when I hear those words is, “Amen sister!” I won’t say that out loud though because…well I’m just not cool enough to pull it off. So I’ll say the second thing that comes to mind, and that is that truer words have probably never been spoken (or written in this case). The beauty of Fielding’s comic creation is its relevance to most every girl (and boy for that matter) who has ever had a job, a relationship or a mother.
The fact is, it’s never JUST a job or a relationship or a mother, is it? It’s the job that you dutifully show up to everyday, just so you can afford that extra bottle (err, glass…) of wine on the weekend. Maybe it’s the uppity boy in the reindeer jumper who ends up being the only person to help you not only accept, but actually like, the person you’ve become. It’s the crazy, over-bearing mother who only ever wants the best for you.
Typically, I am a strong advocate for reading a book before seeing the movie adaptation. It stems from a belief that we should let our own imaginations run wild, let our minds create the pictures in our head, rather than having a big screen roll them out on a silver platter. Nevertheless, Bridget Jones has proved the exception for me. So as an avid fan of Bridget’s on-screen wit and adorable insecurity, I couldn’t wait to dive head first into the pages among which she was first created.
Helen Fielding writes with such an effortless wit, Bridget Jones’s Diary can only be described as the perfect chronicle of single female woes. As we are privy to a year in the life of this London singleton, we see her face many of the challenges we face every day: insecurities about the way we look, doubts about career potential and uncertainty about relationships.
Maybe what I love most about this book, however, is its timelessness. Whether you’re in your teens, twenties, thirties or fifties (God I hope I don’t still feel like this at fifty…) Bridget’s words will never fail to ring true. This truly is a creation for the ages.
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