Now widowed single mother is Mad About The Boy.

EARLY reviews are trickling in of the latest Bridget Jones book by Helen Fielding, and the buzz is that Bridget is definitely back, and better than ever.

Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy is slated to be released on Oct 10, but fans of the diary-writing, harum-scarum, perpetually slightly overweight, romantic-at-heart Bridget are already waiting on tenterhooks – especially after it was revealed earlier this week that Fielding had killed off Bridget’s husband Mark Darcy (cue collective gasp).

Yes, a lot has happened in the 14 years since we last journeyed with Bridget in Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason. According to excerpts from the book and reviews, Mark – who won readers’ hearts from the moment he says to Bridget in the first book, “I like you, very much. Just as you are.” – was killed in 2008, when the lawyer was attempting to secure the release of two British hostages in Sudan.

So Mad About The Boy begins several years later, with Bridget, now 51 and the mother of two children, still struggling to come to terms with the tragic event.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Bridget without her witty observations and comedy-of-errors, so the book follows our intrepid heroine as she braves a new world of Twitter and toyboys. In keeping with the previous books’ beloved format, her entries start with the number of cigarettes she’s smoked, the units of alcohol she’s consumed and the amount of calories she’s lost or gained. And yes, the roguish Daniel Cleaver does make an appearance, but the real suspense lies in where, and if, Bridget will find someone to love again.

Bridget Jones’ Diary was first published in 1996, and one was one of the early trendsetters of the chick-lit phenomenon. It was followed by the sequel, The Edge Of Reason in 1999. The books have sold more than 15 million copies in 40 countries. The books were adapted into hit films of the same names, starring Renee Zellweger in the titular role, as well as Colin Firth and Hugh Grant.

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Fans fume over Darcy’s death