Monday, April 30, 2012
Book Report (And a Trip to the Library!) - Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding
Turns out I picked a good day. No sooner had I settled into one of these groovy lime and cobalt blue couches than did I hear a chorus of dog barks and English accents filling the lobby behind me. From what I gathered, the library was hosting a bring-your-dog party to honor Queen Elizabeth II's 86th birthday. It seemed very quaint, the kind of thing you would - and this is just too perfect - read about in a book! For my part, I was reading my own edition of The Pajama Girls of Lambert Square but went home with a careworn copy of Bridget Jones's Diary (in honor of Britain and all). Somehow, I'd never read it, although I'd of course seen the movie. Checking it out was another amusing episode, as I hadn't used my county library card since I was a minor! The librarian looked at me curiously (I was decked out in a weekend's worth of Tote Trove finery), finally asking how old I was now. In the end she issued me a shiny new card. All in a day's adventuring :)
So, Bridget Jones's Diary. At first it took some getting used to, what with its somewhat choppy diarist's tone. But before long I became so immersed in Bridget's daily indignities that they began to seem like my own, especially as a fellow thirtysomething. Which made me think how crazy it would be if Bridget had blogged about her romantic, professional, and family traumas, not to mention her daily weight, cigarette, drink, calorie, and lottery ticket tallies, instead of tucking them away in her notebook. Having kept a journal for years, I couldn't help but wonder if anyone does that anymore.
Anyway, I found the plot of Bridget Jones's Diary to be more involved and a little darker than the one in the movie. For example, there's this whole over-the-top sequence in which Bridget's mom (or rather, mum) leaves her dad for a smooth-talking swindler and a glitzy TV career, creating a compelling (not to mention hilarious) parallel between she and Bridget as independent women in different phases of their lives. Bridget's a "career girl" (whatever that means) who kind of wants to settle down, whereas her mom, who's devoted her whole life to her family, feels like she needs to grab at life's last gasp of adventure. I can't imagine why all of this didn't make it onto the silver screen, except that maybe it would've overshadowed the whole Daniel vs. Mark Darcy romantic tug-of-war and/or made the movie too long.
I think it's safe to say that this library lark will hover around for awhile. I can't wait to see what I find next time.