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I Don’t Know Whether or Not I’m Excited for the New Bridget Jones Book

Kit Steinkellner

Staff Writer

Kit Steinkellner is a playwright, screenwriter, and creative writing teacher. She also writes about books and reading  at Books Are My Boyfriends. Follow her onTwitter: @BooksAreMyBFs

Bridget Jones is baaaaaack.

It was recently announced that Knopf will publish Helen Fielding’s third installment of Ms. Jones’ misadventures this coming November. If you’re like, “But hasn’t it been a while since…” the answer is yes, yes it has been a while since. Bridget Jones’ Diary was published in 1996. The sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, was published in 1999.

So fourteen years have gone by since we last heard from Jones on paper. Of course, there have been the movies, the cute-as-a-pair-of-boots Bridget Jones Diary 2001, the best-forgotten Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason in 2004, and the I-don’t-even-want-to-talk-or-think-about-it Bridget Jones’ Baby, which, according to IMDb is currently in pre-production.

I love the Bridget Jones books. This is not the first time I have written about Ms. Jones on Book Riot. I’ve read both Diary and Edge of Reason… more times than I should’ve. Like when I should have been reading Moby-Dick or Dante’s Inferno and culturing myself… I was re-reading one of the Bridget Jones books. I’m not a big commerical fiction reader. I mean, Harry Potter and DaVinci Code basically cover the commercial fiction I’ve read in the last decade and change. But I am just such a sucker for Bridget Jones and her calorie-counting and Mark-Darcy-ing and constant battles against f—wittery. I find the novels to be so well-observed, sidesplitting, and deeply human, that’s more than enough for me to jump out of my genre comfort zone.

So I should be counting down the minutes ’til this next book hits store shelves, right?

Well, actually, no, I’m not sure right.

The first two books are so engaging and wonderful and tell such a complete story. It’s not that there’s NOWHERE left to go after the second book. It’s just that I’m worried that the places this third novel will go won’t be nearly as honest and insightful and absorbing as the territory the first two novels covered. I don’t think I would have the same kinds of worries if this third book had followed a few years behind the second. But it’s been fourteen years. That’s a lot of years. I don’t want the magic to be gone. God as my witness, I do NOT want the magic to be gone. But I’m a little afraid some of, or a lot of, or kill me right now ALL of the magic might be gone in this third book.

I know I sound a little doom and gloom about this third book because a part of me is pretty doom and gloom about this book. However, there is another part of me that is Pollyanna Glad-Gaming the news about a third book. I’m GLAD a third book is coming out because even if it’s imperfect (or deeply flawed) at least I’ll be able to spend more time with a character I have come to love so well.

(I can’t “Glad Game” the upcoming movie Bridget Jones’ Baby. I’m sorry you guys, I just can’t do it, I don’t have QUITE enough Pollyanna in me for that.)

And maybe I should trust Helen Fielding a little more with the care and handling of her character. She’s come out with a statement about the third book, saying “My life has moved on and Bridget’s has too. I hope people will have as much fun reading it as I had writing it.” It sounds like she’s taking her widely-beloved character and putting her in very, very different circumstances and while that is a little unnerving (I love the first two books SO much) I understand that it’s dramatically necessary. Whether the books succeeds or fails it sounds like the one thing it won’t be doing is clinging to the tried and true and playing it safe. Which I respect. I’m nervous about this new book. But I respect Helen Fielding’s game plan, as she sets it out.

What about you guys? Fans of the first two books or not so much? How do you feel about Bridget Jones becoming a trilogy?