Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding
I borrowed a hardcover copy from my local public library.
Bridget's back! I am not going to try to avoid the "spoiler" that had everyone so upset, because it is not a spoiler. Mark is dead. They got married and had a couple of kids and now he's dead. Anything else would be a spoiler, but those basic facts are not.
Bridget is now in her early 50's and is juggling (single) motherhood slightly behind the schedule of most of her friends. She's also back in the dating game and finding it as difficult as it was for her twenty years previously. She attacks her new challenges with her typical blend of courage, anxiety, self-doubt, and determination to improve. Her voice is unchanged from the first two books, and readers who loved her the first two times around will only love her more now.
Though the book is screamingly funny, it also has a depth that the previous books did not quite touch. While younger Bridget worried about her parents, her career, and whether or not her life was going to turn out okay, a Bridget who has had and lost the love of her life has a very different foundation underlying the same old worries and schemes. Some of the passages about her missing Mark and wishing that he could be there to see his children grow up literally left me in tears.
A book that can leave a reader breathless with both laughter and sobs gets five stars on my blog.