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[Warning: Spoilers ahead for Helen Fielding’s forthcoming Bridget Jones book, Mad About the Boy.]
Bridget Jones fans didn’t see this one coming.
In author Helen Fielding‘s upcoming third book about Bridget, titled Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, the title character is revealed to be a widow following the death of — gasp — Mark Darcy, a fan favorite.
The U.K.’s Sunday Times magazine published an excerpt from the forthcoming novel over the weekend, giving readers a look at Bridget following her husband’s death.
“Why didn’t I just stay as I was. Sad, lonely, workless, sexless … but at least a mother, a widow, and faithful to their … Faithful to their father,” the excerpt reads.
Fans hit Facebook and Twitter to express their disappointment, to put it mildly.
Wrote NyunMien Ku on the Bridget Jones fan page: “What’s the point of reading it now? BJ and MD were my fav. couple and now Helen’s gone and killed him off! I demand a rewrite to resurrect MD!!!!”
Added Laís Souza: “My advice is to Helen Fielding: do not destroy your most famous story. We love Bridget WITH Darcy. Is it too late for another man in the book.”
And Jacinda Kate Bridger chimed in: “Widowed??? Noooo!!! What kind of Horror-spoiler is THIS????”
But some people weren’t convinced the spoiler was real.
Commented Raquel Orozco: “This HAS to be a joke. There must be something more to it that we haven’t seen yet. Now I really want to read it.”
And yet others defended Fielding’s decision.
“Get over it everyone,” Miguel Albino-Simpson wrote. “The reason why Bridget even exists for your personal delight is because Helen Fielding created her therefore she can do whatever she wants with her and any character in the book. Why are you being so childish.”
Fielding released her first Bridget Jones book, Bridget Jones’s Diary, in 1995 and the sequel, Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason, in 1999. The second book found Bridget accepting Mark Darcy’s proposal, with the two appearing to go on to live happily ever after.
The third book, in which Mark is revealed to have died five years earlier, finds Bridget experimenting with social media. She is now 51 years old, and the book will explore her life as a single mom to two children, Mabel and Billy. She also has a boyfriend named Roxster, and the excerpt showed her now worrying over school politics along with her resolutions to lose weight, meditate on a regular basis and stop hiding wine bottles.
Daniel Cleaver is mentioned in the excerpt that was published online as being a “naughty godfather” to Bridget and Mark’s children, “relied upon for emergency babysitting duties and inappropriate sexual advances towards their mother.”
The novels were been published in more than 40 countries and have sold more than 15 million copies worldwide. They also were adapted into feature films starring Renee Zellweger as Bridget, Colin Firth as Mark and Hugh Grant as Daniel.
Mad About the Boy hits bookstores Oct. 15.
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