Four months ago, I read a story about an overweight girl obsessed with her Casanova Boss, struggling to keep herself in perfect shape, mentally and physically, fighting a futile battle with her rapidly increasing age and caustic remarks of relatives, friends and colleagues. And yet upbeat about her future, trying ever new theories to live life to its fullest. And, as is true about all love stories, the story did have a happy ending, with the girl finding a perfect man.
Had it been a Hindi movie, the story would have finished with a huge “Lived Happily Ever After” placard, but Helen Fielding decided to take the story further, to investigate whether the girl is really able to shed her worries and enjoy her engaged status or not. And, that’s what brings us to the present novel, ‘The Edge of Reason’ by Helen Fielding, a sequel to her immensely successful novel Bridget Jones’s Diary.
The Edge of Reason begins on a happy note, in stark contrast to the previous novel. Bridget has a steady boyfriend, Mark Darcy, who is almost living-in with her. Bridget herself has metamorphosed into a talented Television show anchor and her parents are once again living happily with each other, without any extra marital affairs. In short, Jones’s dream life has almost become a reality and she is indeed basking in the glory of love, while being reconciled to her weight gain as an added mark of happiness.
But, hardly one month is required to undo all the efforts Bridget and destiny put in the previous one year. Even before Valentine’s Day, Jones is on the verge of losing her boyfriend, lost all interest in the glamorous career as a Tele show anchor courtesy her insane Boss, and her mother is planning another vacation, which would probably culminate in yet another hot affair.
In short, the life of Bridget Jones is as much in disarray as it was in the first novel. And, as a result, The Edge of Reason struck me as a repeat telecast of earlier events, with only slight changes in casting!
Probably, Helen Fielding felt the same way too, as she tries to bring about a rapid change in the storyline by introducing real adventures in the form of Thailand Expedition, imprisonment for drug abuse and even a murder assault on poor Bridget. However, all these tactics proved a bit too ludicrous and repetitive, and strangely, as if to validate the title, Reason and Logic do jump off the edge!
I could not digest the haphazard narration in the first novel, and as the same technique continues in the sequel as well, I do not really want to delve into the details.To make matters worse, even witty liners and smart comments were conspicuous by their absence. The laughing moments were too less and even Bridget looked like a caricature of her earlier self, oscillating between the unhappy singleton and smug engaged.
So, the verdict is out, I could hardly empathize with Bridget Jones in The Edge of Reason and the novel appeared dull and straight. Though, I did enjoy the idiotically funny Colin Firth Interview, and the slight suspense created when Jones is threatened with a live bullet which she mistakenly thinks to be a lipstick. Mark Darcy proves to be her savior, and,at least for once, Bridget does get a glimpse of true love rather than infatuations and make-believe affairs.
All in all, an okay kind of novel, though I would definitely rate Bridget Jones’s Diary to be slightly better than The Edge of Reason. You may read the novel, if you are a big fan of Bridget and really want to be in her company once again, and her diary entries entertain you or of course, if you have put your hard earned money in buying an economically viable omnibus edition, like me. Otherwise, all you lucky fellas can breathe easy, without being subjected to acute manoeuvrings by Bridget Jones and her friends.
Title : Bridget Jones The Edge of Reason
Author : Helen Fieldling
Published by : Pan Macmillan
Edition : 2008 Omnibus (Paperback)
No. of Pages : 461