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Bridget Jones’s Baby Reader’s Guide

By Helen Fielding

Bridget Jones's Baby by Helen Fielding

READERS GUIDE

The questions, topics, and other material that follow are intended to enhance your group’s conversation about Bridget Jones’s Baby: The Diaries, Helen Fielding’s uproarious continuation of Bridget’s adventures, this time as her solo days become numbered with the arrival of an unexpected, but long-desired, new man in her life. 

Introduction

Bridget Jones, beloved Singleton and global phenomenon, is back—with a bump! This gloriously funny story tells us what happened between The Edge of Reason and Mad About the Boy, revealing how our heroine came to be a mum.
 
Before motherhood, before marriage, Bridget, with biological clock ticking very, very loudly, finds herself unexpectedly pregnant at the eleventh hour: a joyful time nonetheless dominated by a crucial and terribly awkward question—which of her ex-boyfriends is the father? Mark Darcy: honorable, decent, notable human rights lawyer? Or the incorrigible Daniel Cleaver: charming, witty, notorious ladies’ man? In this page-turning tale of baby-deadline panic, maternal bliss, and social, professional, technological, culinary and childbirth chaos, Bridget navigates a pregnancy full of cheesy potatoes, outlandish advice from Smug Mothers, chaos at scans and childbirth classes, high jinks and romance.

Questions and Topics for Discussion

1. How does the pressure that Bridget feels to have a baby—and settle down in general—reflect broader issues affecting single women today? How have those concerns changed since we first met Bridget in Bridget Jones’s Diary, published in 1996?

2. What’s different and/or more challenging about dating life today, in the age of texting? How does this form of communication add humor and drama throughout the story?

3. What are some of the other social stigmas that the novel addresses through Bridget and her single friends, especially for women in Bridget’s age group? 

4. What does Mark’s reaction to Bridget at the christening suggest about their original breakup five years ago—was he angrier at Daniel or Bridget for what he saw?

5. What does Bridget expect from Mark and Daniel as the potential fathers of her son? Do you think that would have been different if she were having a girl? 

6. Mark describes the baby as the happiest thing that ever happened to him, which came out of a moment of “unadulterated passion.” Does the novel suggest that the things one wants most in life, such as this, come about more by happenstance or by deliberate planning? How have you seen that play out in other scenarios in Bridget’s life?

7. How do Bridget’s relationships with her parents, especially her father, reflect the values she prioritizes for her own future family?

8. Bridget is known for her vices—drinking, smoking, eating unhealthily, etc.—and her obsessive recording of them in her diary. How are these behaviors different or the same in light of her pregnancy? 

9. Once you know that it’s meant for Billy to read one day, what’s the difference about this diary? Do you imagine that Bridget was cognizant of its future reader and altered it accordingly, or not?

10. How does Bridget rely on her friends during her pregnancy when other, more traditional sources of support—her family or a husband/father for the baby—are unavailable?

11. Bridget reflects on a quote in Buddha’s Little Instruction Book: “If you let cloudy water settle, it will become clear. If you let your upset mind settle, your course will also become clear.” How does this idea manifest itself over the course of the novel, including with regards to the series’s continuous theme of being loved “just as you are”? What do Bridget’s various trials—the things that make her mind cloudy—ultimately reveal in each instance?

12. Were you surprised by Mark’s or Daniel’s behavior when it came to Bridget’s doctor appointments, etc., or were their reactions characteristic?

13. When Mark’s assignment at work fails and he turns to painting, do you think his character fundamentally changes, or is painting simply a phase?

14. How much were you surprised on finding out the baby’s real father? What do you think would have happened if it were the other man?

15. How does this book in the Bridget Jones series build on its original inspiration, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice? Do you imagine Austen characters would make the same decisions if they lived today?

16.  If you’ve read Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, which takes place several years after this novel’s conclusion, how did you approach the book, knowing what happens next? And if you haven’t, what do you think might happen with Bridget’s new family? 

About this Author

Helen Fielding is the author of Bridget Jones’s Diary, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, and Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, and was part of the screenwriting team on the associated movies. Bridget Jones’s Baby: The Diaries is her sixth novel. She has two children and lives in London and Los Angeles.
 
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