The sequel picks up exactly one month and four days after the first novel, the amount of time that Bridget and Mark Darcy have been boyfriend and girlfriend. Bridget’s boyfriend bliss, however, is decisively short-lived. From the outset of the novel, people and situations seem to conspire to keep the lovers apart. Their evenings together are ceaselessly interrupted by phone calls from Bridget’s friends; a case of mistaken identity makes it seem that Mark is a sexual pervert; and, worst of all, another woman has taken it into her head to woo Bridget’s man.
This woman, Rebecca, who was introduced briefly in the first novel as an acquaintance (not much liked) of Bridget and her friends, is a major player in the sequel. Thin and rich and many other things that Bridget is not, Rebecca is known among Bridget’s friends as a “jellyfish”; she is always sneaking up on a person unawares with her conversational stings. After inviting Mark and Bridget to a party at her parents’ cottage, Rebecca arranges an evening of discord for the happy couple. Having informed her teenage nephew that Bridget and Mark are splitting up, she makes space for the boy and Bridget to be alone, and then she and Mark “accidentally” walk in on the boy trying to kiss Bridget. The result of this setup is the eventual split between Bridget and Mark, the reunion of which is complicated by the often contradictory advice Bridget receives from her library of self-help books and the counsel she solicits from her friends. Soon after the party, Bridget sees Mark with Rebecca one night in town. Though he offers to explain the situation, Bridget—encouraged by the support of Shazzer and Jude, who are in her apartment when he calls—will not listen to him. Shortly after this conversation, Mark and Rebecca begin dating.
Single once more, Bridget has the time to devote herself completely to preparing for a freelance assignment her friend Tom has helped her land: an interview, in Rome, with Colin Firth, the actor who plays Mr. Darcy in the British Broadcasting Corporation version of...
(The entire section is 847 words.)