On a site rating Helen Fielding’s new book Mad About the Boy, I came across a terse comment: ‘Not a great read.’ I would have to agree. It’s not a great read – it’s totally brilliant.

Bridget Jones is back – she of the calorie-counting obsession and the pounds gained/lost fetish, older, not wiser, more or less coping with kids’ lice and challenging digestive systems, and homework that gets lost. She’s also a widow – the divine Mark Darcy has been blown apart on assignment in some war-torn area of the world. The “not great” comment made me wonder whether only widows (terrible, horrible word) can appreciate the hilariousness of this book, and the poignancy.... Oy, try laughing hysterically in bed alone, and crying at the same time; not the No. 1 most lovely way to spend an evening.

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