Pandora's Box

Smug Marrieds, Singletons and Colin Firth can mean only one thing - Bridget's baaaack!

Following the tradition set rolling by the release of "Bridget Jones's Diary", this book too, is simply fantastic. Exhilarating and hilarious, it makes Bridget Jones - a fact-finder for the T.V. program "Sit Up Britain" and also a woman who's always late for work - come very alive in all her feminine glory. She's Everywoman - the icon of the modern, urban lady.

I relished every thought of hers that I was treated to - and there were plenty of those, as the book is a collection of her diary entries starting January 1997 and culminating December 1998.

We're roller-costered through her relationships with her parents, her "Singleton" friends Jude and Shaz, her "Smug Married" friend Magda, her sarcastically contemptuous boss Richard Finch, and Mark Darcy, the man who plays a vital role in her life.

Bridget's personality is a pure delight. Reading what she thinks is like opening Pandora's box; you don't know what will emerge next. And still, it's all strangely familiar...if you are a woman, that is! Her logic, her reasoning, her intuitions and approach to life are all so feminine and therefore, so right. To men, this book poses a challenge. Pick it up if you dare to gain an insight into what makes the woman you love tick.

The book traces her life through a number of interesting incidents, including the elections and her part in them, Princess Diana's death and her reaction to it and the delightful experience of being incarcerated in a prison in Thailand for drug-trafficking, among many others.

The novel is full of laughs and has not one boring moment in it. Helen Fielding has clearly discovered a gold mine in Bridget Jones and her very subtle, artful and humorous writing style succeeds in highlighting the character and life of a woman rushed off her feet as she attempts to meet work deadlines and family committments, and at the same time tries to be a loyal friend, an interested lover and a "poised woman of substance with inner strength"!

Psst...do two things before you pick this one up. Watch the BBC film production of "Pride And Prejudice" starring Colin Firth and look up the word "epiphany" in the dictionary. Trust me on this.

This article was first published on 01 May 2000.