The Bridges of Madison County: Robert James Waller

This book was a 1992 best seller and was made into a movie starring Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep. I had heard this book being mentioned in some discussions but never laid my hands on it.

This book is about Franseca, an Italian based in Madison County Iowa. She lives with her husband and two kids, but is lonely. She doesn’t like the farm life she is forced to lead after her marriage. Her husband is a rural at heart and doesn’t share her feelings when it comes to romance and other soft luxuries of life. Robert Kincaid visits Madison County to do a feature on the covered bridges of the town. He is a photographer on an assignment for National Geographic and stops  by Fransesca’s house to ask for directions. This triggers off a spark in both their hearts and what follows is an intense romantic affair. This is not so much about the physical relationship but the spiritual and divine connect that two human beings can have. This is what I liked the most about the book.

Robert asks Fransesca to leave her family and go with him. Fransesca is torn between her love for Robert and her responsibilities towards her family. Ultimately, the lovers sacrifice their love for their duties. There is no childishness here. They both know they are losing a great deal, but understand that Fransesca has her own reasons for it. Robert, who turns out to be a real gentleman who cares for his lady’s feelings, comes across as a hero who every woman will fall in love with. I did too!

After the death of her husband, Fransesca tries to reach Robert, but is unable to. She fears he is dead. As a reader, you so badly want her to find Robert and when she gives up her search, you alsmost scream at her. She hears about Robert’s death later and this part is heart breaking. This book is a real tear-jerker and this is where you will shed your tears the most.

This book is not about memorable quotes or good description. It is about a simple, pure love story between a woman and a man which transcends the earthly definition of love. It is very clear there is some divine intervention in this story.

In the book, the author talks about meeting Fransesca’s children and hearing the love story from them. I believed this and was assuming all the while that this is a true story which was turned into a novel, but wiki doesn’t believe so. I liked the book as it is, but liked it a bit more because I thought the characters from the book actually existed somewhere in some place.  I am disappointed that it isn’t so.

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2 Responses to “The Bridges of Madison County: Robert James Waller”

  1. Richard Says:

    Check out Robert James Wallers “Border Music”

    It will fill the slot as Best thing I’ve Read for a while!

  2. Manish Says:

    I have read the book and would some day love to talk to the author.Yes there can exist such a bridge,such people and the story.


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