I re-read BJD yesterday, after several years, and discovered all over again what a fun book it is. When it first came out, there was so much hype about it that I ran in the opposite direction, as usual. Eventually, I was lent that and Edge of Reason by a friend and was hooked. Of course, ever since that, I have been reading several chicklit authors including Jill Mansell, Marian Keyes, Shiele O Flanagan and Sophie Kinsella and have an almost-finished manuscript of my own. But BJD really was the kick-off to this genre of books, and now one thinks about it, one wonders why someone didn't do this before.
Granted, Georgette Heyer in many ways could have been said to be chicklit, albeit in Regency times. But what defines Chicklit and sets it apart from plain old romance is its focus on not just romance but also friendships and career. Moreover, the 'happy ending' of a chicklit is not necessarily marriage or a proposal but the very act of finding/ getting together with the other person.
BJD is a really wittily written book, with not only laugh-out-loud moments but also a vein of 'taking the mickey' running through it. I was struck by a fabulous piece of writing about women's preoccupation with weight and dieting in which Bridget says that she had almost forgotten that food was meant for nourishment, she had become so obsessed with it as a diet/ self-esteem tool. The only crib I have about the book is the almost complete lack of ambition/ seriousness about career of the protagonist. I have to say, though, that on re-reading the book, I couldn't help but picture Renee Zellweger and Colin Firth ( Mr. McDreamy) , both of who did a great job in the film.