Me and Mrs. Jones

February 11, 2017
Laura

bridget-jones

On the dedication page of Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding makes a point of thanking her mother for not being like Bridget’s. As a writer, that makes me chuckle. It feels like a defensive move, like she’s saying Please Mum don’t be angry she’s not like you even if she does talk just like you do and have your fashion sense, this isn’t what I really think of you…

That little snippet, which most readers probably pass over on their way to page one, really got me thinking about Mrs. Jones, especially because I’ve read Bridget Jones’s Diary at least once before and have seen the movie countless times (including once this week, to remind myself of the similarities and differences between movie and book). I love Gemma Jones’s portrayal in the movie, though naturally she and her story line are quite a bit simpler in the movie than they are in the book. In the book, Mrs. Jones’s plot arc reaches great heights of absurdity and involves a lot more sex and deception. A novel from her perspective would actually be hilarious, I think. But then, I’m always drawn to the less sympathetic characters in any fiction. And maybe it’s funnier when we have to fill in the blanks of what Mrs. Jones has been up to with her various lovers and her newfound TV celebrity and her incarceration for real estate fraud. Because, given the format of the diary as novel, we only get to see what Bridget thinks about anything, and we only get to know what she knows. I think that’s the magic of the format: unlike the movie, the real revelation of the novel is not (for me, anyway) that Mark Darcy has feelings for her or that she’s grown up in any way, but when she starts to hear what other people think of her. Their opinions of her are in stark contrast to what she thinks of herself, and it makes you wonder what it would be like to see her from the outside–a perspective that the movie later provides.

But back to Mrs. Jones. Continue Reading

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February Reading List

January 31, 2017
Laura

Here’s what I’m reading (and blogging about, should the Fates allow) in February, in case you want to read along:

fals_cover

(Because you have to read a love story in honor of Valentine’s Day)

bridget-jones

(Re-reading this one, actually–a little nostalgia)

chabon

(Always exciting to read something new by Michael Chabon. I’m a little behind the times–this came out in 2012–but it’s new to me.)

rr

(Pushed Carrie Fisher back until March, because it’s Black History Month and it seems like a good time to read this one–I hear it’s wonderful.)

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