Cafe Parlez for July – Bridget Jones’s Diary

Another month, another Cafe Parlez!  We’re serving tarts, in honor of the “Tarts and Vicars” party, iced tea (regular and herbal), lime coolers, and pastries.  M is calling everyone to order so that we can discuss this “deep and profound” book.  

First question: is our appearance dictated by ourselves or by society?  Once she has given up obsessing about herself, is that a victory or defeat?  The consensus seems to be a victory for Bridget.  We all feel better in our casual clothes.  Americans seem to be more casual, mainly more than Europeans.  But some of us feel peppier  when we’re “put together”, dressing nicely with makeup. 

Second question: how did the diary format work for you?  People felt the detail of the calory/cigarette/wine counting was tedious and eventually skipped it.  Also some felt she whined too much.  Is a boyfriend the only way a woman can be fulfilled.  This IS her private diary; if you can’t whine in your diary, when can you?  Is the life of a single woman so depressing?  We can live vicariously through Bridget’s diary. 

Third question: what does Bridget look like?  Renee Zellwegger?  The author never describes her, so she’s “Everywoman”.     There are no steamy sex scenes, why?  The understatedness  makes it more fun.  L wants to organize Bridget. 

Bridget’s mother is the cause of most of Bridget’s neurosis.  And her father is semi-normal, though beaten-down.  He’s very proper, too proper to talk about his feelings.  Stiff upper-lip.  Now there’s a discussion on how proper the British are, almost standoffish.  Other cultures have different personal boundaries.

Next question: Sharon’s character in the story as representing feminism.   Would the next generation’s story be different?  Both men and women are changing, though some men need training. 

Discussion done, time for a trivia game!  The group is divided into two teams: the Tarts and the Vicars.    The Vicars win!!!  Everyone gets books from Oprah’s book club, and ARCs from the Mass. Library Association.

Book club’s done for this month.  Join us on August 30 as we discuss “The Devil in the White City”.


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