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Bridget Jones Summary
SuperSummary, a modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, offers high-quality study guides that feature detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, quotes, and essay topics. This one-page guide includes a plot summary and brief analysis of Bridget Jones by Helen Fielding.
Bridget Jones’s Diary (1996), a romantic chic lit novel by Helen Fielding, had sold more than two million copies as of 2006. In 1998, it was named the British Book of the Year, and in 2003, it placed at number 75 on a BBC survey of favorite novels. A film adaptation was released in 2001. Renee Zellweger played the titular character and received an Academy Award nomination for her performance.
The novel opens at the beginning of the year with the narrator, Bridget Jones, recording some of her New Year’s resolutions. Bridget resolves to stop dating men who treat her poorly, to stop smoking and drinking to excess, to start saving money, and to improve her health. This introductory chapter introduces the character and the issues she has to overcome.
Bridget has a crush on her playboy boss, Daniel. He often flirts with her in the office; though Bridget knows that many of his comments border on sexual harassment she does not mind. With encouragement from her gay friend, Tom, Bridget pursues Daniel throughout the month of January until he finally asks her out, treating her to a wonderful first date. However, at the end of the date, Bridget becomes nervous that some of the things Daniel is saying imply that he has emotional issues. She rushes out before they can have sex.
In February, Daniel returns to the office, acting as if nothing bad has happened between him and Bridget. Still attracted to each other, they go on another date, this one ending in sex. Meanwhile, Bridget notices her parents acting strangely and wonders if they are about to divorce. She finds out that her mother has been dallying with a man named Julio, though her mother swears that their relationship is platonic.
Bridget’s friends think that Daniel is trouble, and Bridget should not pursue him if she wants a serious relationship. However, when Daniel invites her for a weekend in Prague, Bridget happily accepts. They have a good time, but after Bridget’s friends support her during a disastrous birthday celebration, she decides to listen to them and spend no more time with Daniel.
As April rolls around, Bridget attends a work party. She has mixed success meeting new contacts, but when Daniel asks her out, she deliberately turns him down. In addition, she cuts back on drinking and smoking, and by the middle of the month is satisfied that she is well on her well to achieving her New Year’s resolutions. However, by the end of April, she has resumed drinking, smoking, binge eating, and sleeping with Daniel.
Bridget has a pregnancy scare which leads her to worry whether or not she and Daniel would be good parents. She is worried that they would not be. Now that they are dating, Daniel no longer takes her out. When Bridget plans a romantic weekend for the two of them, it does not go well and neither has a good time. Bridget’s anxiety continues to grow, culminating when she finds that Daniel has been cheating on her.
After coming to the conclusion that Daniel is cheating on her because of her appearance, Bridget starts a new diet. However, she immediately breaks it when she learns that Daniel is marrying the other woman. Deciding she has to leave her job, Bridget interviews at her mother’s television studio. When she tells Daniel she is going to quit, her female friends at the office are supportive and encouraging.
Bridget’s new job starts out well, but after she embarrasses herself on an assignment, she becomes dispirited. Her parents continually pressure her to attend events with a family friend, Mark Darcy, whom Bridget’s mother is trying to set her up with. Finally, she agrees to go to a party at the home of Mark’s parents.
At the party, Mark confesses that he was jealous when Bridget was dating Daniel and asks her out. When Mark does not show up for the date, Bridget assumes she was stood up. However, when she talks to Mark later, she learns that she did not hear him when he came to her door. Mark grants her a favor that will help Bridget in her career.
Bridget’s mother and Julio are wanted by the police after Julio defrauds several people. Mark uses his contacts to find Bridget’s mother and to convince Julio to return some of the money so Bridget’s family will not be bankrupted. After this, Bridget doesn’t hear from Mark for some time, and she wonders if the business with her mother has scared him off.
Most of December passes without word from Mark. Bridget goes to a Christmas celebration at her parents’ house. Suddenly, Mark enters with Julio, followed closely by the police who arrest Julio. Mark reveals was in Portugal trying to convince Julio to come back. He sweeps Bridget away to celebrate Christmas together.