Killing Mr Darcy
This is the news that in her latest Bridget Jones novel Mad About The Boy, Helen Fielding has killed off Bridget's long-time romantic interest, Mark Darcy. Responses have been dramatic.
"Mark Darcy is dead. Bridget Jones is a widow!! This is all too much for a lazy Sunday morning."
I like a romantic happy ending as much as anyone but I'm not sure where else Helen Fielding could have taken this one. In book one, Bridget found and landed her Mr Right, after frequently embarrassing herself in public. In the second book, she lost him, had an adventure and finally regained him. I like the idea of Bridget as merry widow. It suits her and suggests Helen Fielding's writing savvy in the creation of this character and our interest in her life. We like to see Bridget fall down occasionally (flashing her 'big pants), bumble through a conversation with a handsome man and generally cause confusion. It's her imperfection and obstacle strewn adventures that endear her to us. Mr Darcy may be gone (in book three) but he has left his mark on our Bridget (probably stretch marks after the birth of two children). In the first two books, we have shared in their building of a hilarious but heart-warming story. Now it is time for Bridget to move on to her next set of awkward exchanges.
Helen Fielding may have killed off one of her darlings but Bridget is stronger and more interesting for it.