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52 Books in 52 Weeks, Week 45: It's a Mad, Mad, Mad World

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Week 45 here at 52 books in 52 weeks. On tap: the new Bridget Jones book, Mad About the Boy.

It's a been a long time since we've seen Bridget (in print, anyway -- The Edge of Reason was published in 1999) and a lot's changed in her life. She [Spoiler Alert] married Darcy and had two kids and then he (oh, no!) died in a tragic accident leaving her alone with two young kids and her general incompetence/savant-like ability to get herself into terrible scrapes and come out of them.

You see, despite the kids and responsibilities, not much has changed in Bridget's world. Well, okay, some things have changed. There's Twitter now, and Bridget's often hilarious foray into that social media platform is vintage Fielding. And there's a boy toy (not Daniel Cleaver, though he is still around), and a serious man (not Darcy, cuz he's dead) who keeps calling Bridget on said incompetence/savant-like ability to... you get the idea. This is, in short, classic Bridget Jones without the novelty factor that the first book had when it launched that oft-maligned genre of book: chick lit.

So, there's lots to like here, and it clips along at a good pace, but I couldn't help feeling a little sad for Bridget. Not because of Darcy's loss, though I mourned it (no Colin Firth in the next movie??), but because despite the fact that she is 51, she doesn't seem to have changed one iota. That is both her strength and her failing, and her ultimate humanity as a character flows from this. She's Bridget Jones, take her or leave her.

And so, onto week 46, where we'll be reading the new Scott Turow book, Identical. If it's half as good as his last book (If you haven't read Innocent, you really should), I will be a happy reader.

Read on.