Bridget Jones is back in a new book by Helen Fielding, Mad About The Boy, due to be published on October 10. But all is not well with the beloved character who first introduced the world to the plight of the modern London singleton. In an extended excerpt published in the UK’s Sunday Times Magazine on Sept. 29 it was revealed that Bridget Jones is now Bridget Darcy, mother of two and a widow.
In the last book, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, published in 1999, readers saw the dashing barrister Mark Darcy propose to thirtysomething Bridget after having first stolen her heart in Bridget Jones’ Diary, which was published in 1996. The latest installment picks up the story when Bridget is 51 and single once again, having lost her husband five years ago, and is raising their two children, Billy and Mabel, on her own. According to The Independent, those eager to learn the precise cause of Mark Darcy’s demise will need to wait until the book is published, “as his death will appear in a flashback deep into the book and not be revealed in advance.”
The first two books in the series were loosely based on Jane Austen’s novels and sold 15 million copies globally. The novels inspired two movies starring Renee Zellweger as Bridget and Colin Firth as Mark Darcy.
After the excerpt was published on Sunday, fans took to social media to vent their dismay over the revelation that Fielding had killed off the beloved character.
Mark Darcy KILLED off? say it isn't so!—
patsy leadbeater (@CDNtweeteh) September 30, 2013
If what I've read about the new Bridget Jones book is true…I'm NOT happy. Poor Mark Darcy!—
Sam June Moore (@samjmoore87) September 30, 2013
But die-hard fans can take heart – despite all that has changed in Bridget’s life, there are still some familiar elements. Bridget still obsesses over her weight and love life – she’s dating a much younger man named Roxster in The Boy – and her old friends Jude and Tom still serve as her support system. And perhaps more intriguingly, bad boy Daniel Cleaver, who was played by Hugh Grant in the films, is still in her life as the “naughty” godfather to Bridget’s children.