Why has Helen Fielding killed off the best guy ever?
That guy, of course, is Mark Darcy, created by Helen Fielding (with a big boost from Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice"). In Fielding's bestselling novel "Bridget Jones's Diary," sparks flew between Bridget and Darcy. They managed to get together, finally, at the end of that book; its sequel, “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason,” ended with their engagement.
And now Darcy is dead.
That's the big news from excerpts of Fielding's new Bridget Jones novel, "Mad About the Boy" that appeared in the British Sunday Times Magazine this weekend. "Mad About the Boy" debuts in the U.S. in October, 14 years since Jones' last appearance.
That's about as much time that has passed for Jones herself. She is now Darcy's widow, with two of his kids and a new set of dating problems. The novel is written, like its predecessors, in confessional dairy style -- with humorous tallies of self-indulgence, self-improvement and current obsessions. As it begins, we see Jones has consumed "3,482 calories (mostly leftovers)" and received "texts from toy boy: 0."
She's dating a man (the "toy boy") about 20 years her junior. She's 51 -- "35 if anyone asks" -- which sounds like a marvelously Bridget Jones-y way for the ice-cream eating, vodka-swilling, cigarette-smoking Jones to grow up.
But can Bridget Jones exist without Darcy? "Mad About the Boy" will tell.
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