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The Bridges of Madison County by Robert…
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The Bridges of Madison County (1992)

by Robert James Waller

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Neither Robert Kincaid nor Francesca Johnson are in the first blush of youth when they first meet in Iowa in the 1960's. However, that brief yet intense meeting has the potential to alternately haunt them and comfort them for the rest of their lives. Their memories of their time together are perhaps strong enough to last a lifetime.

Robert Kincaid is a fifty-two-year-old photographer for National Geographic Magazine. He is a strange, almost mystical traveler of Asian deserts, distant rivers, and ancient cities who is known for his world-class, poignant photographs; whose work can melt the hardest heart. Yet, he is also a man who feels out of harmony with his time.

Francesca Johnson is a forty-five-year-old housewife, once a hopeful young war bride from Italy - so filled with excitement and dreams for a brighter future. However, living in the hills of southern Iowa with only flickering memories of her girlhood to keep her company, Francesca is lonely. She is ostensibly happy and content with her life, yet when Robert drives through the dust and heat of an Iowa summer and turns into Francesca's farmhouse lane asking for directions, their illusions suddenly fall away.

As the photographer Robert Kincaid uses light to capture not objects, but rather his own kind of truth, what occurs beside the old bridges of Madison County over the space of four days, becomes a prism transforming Francesca's and Robert's emotions into a shared experience of uncommonly rare and stunning beauty. An experience which will haunt them forever. This is a story of a love too beautiful and too strong to die. A story so movingly poignant that it will transform the reader's ordinary emotions into something incredibly wondrous and brilliant.

The result is a passionate and deeply moving book, filled with lyrical prose and a vibrancy that places Robert James Waller in the forefront of current fiction writers. I must say that I thought this was a truly lovely, sweet love story. It was such a well-told story, deeply passionate and almost timeless. I give this book an A+!

The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller is actually the second book that I've read by this author. Although this is also his debut novel. I must also say that while I've never watched the 1995 film adaptation, starring Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep, I've only seen bits and pieces. I much prefer the book to the movie. Although, having only seen some of the movie, I suppose this is to be expected. ( )
  moonshineandrosefire | Mar 27, 2015 |
One warm 1960s summer day Robert Kincaid walks into the quaint Iowa town of Winterset to photograph its beautiful old bridges for a photo essay for National Geographic. Asking directions at a local farmhouse, he meets Francesca, a beautiful farm wife whose family is away at the state fair. They fall deeply and immediately in love. For four days, they revel in one another's beauty and the magic that they bring to each other. When it comes time for... ( )
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  Tutter | Mar 2, 2015 |
Oh. My. God. Utter drivel. Purple prose. A train wreck of a book. I couldn't not read it because it was so appallingly bad that I just couldn't look away. The "Plan 9" of novels. ( )
  AliceAnna | Sep 9, 2014 |
I saw the movie years ago and recently picked up the book second hand.
So I knew it was a love story. I relish good love stories and have read many whether classics, chick-lit, comic, young adult, paranormal romance...the list goes on.
I read them and read, generally speaking, for the joy, hope, fun, dreams, adventure, sadness, excitement and escapism that they bring to me.
Honestly proud to be a sap, nothing like a bit of unbelievable corny romance for a bit of fun.
They make you hoot with laughter, blubber like a baby and cringe like a teenager, some even steam you up like?..yes well, you can imagine.
Despite any tendencies towards cynicism, I still believe in romance and we can all use more of it in our daily lives, where ever we may find it.

Surprised that so many found this book dreary.

I felt it to be powerful and intense, sad and lonely, painful in a melancholic way and beautifully simple in a very strong way.
There are so many who have just what they settle for in life and relationships.
To find someone, even briefly, who helps you to ripen and blossom physically, emotionally, intellectually, even spiritually, can only be magical.

In Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel, it is described as being like a box of matches. There are only so many and even fewer who can set the sparks free. It would be sad indeed to go through life never experiencing such a sensation. When was the last time you stayed up all night just talking to someone, oblivious to time, to everything, except that person? When was the last time you felt appreciated in such a way?
Or even ready to experience such a love? ( )
  Amotisse | May 21, 2014 |
On of my all time favourite books, and I put the film of this in the same category. It's not often I enjoy the film as much as I did the novel, but this is one of those occasions. A story of impossible love, that has you pulling your hair out, wishing that they would go off together, but no…….. ( )
  Fliss88 | Jan 14, 2014 |
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Epigraph
Dedication
For the peregrines
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There are songs that come free from the blue-eyed grass, from the dust of a thousand country roads. This is one of them.
Quotations
In a universe of ambiguity, this kind of certainty comes only once, and never again, no matter how many lifetimes you live.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
There are songs that come free from the blue-eyed grass, from the dust of a thousand country roads. This is one of them.
And so beginnings a story that you will never forget ...
    THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY

... is the story of Robert Kincaid, a world-classphotographer, and Francesca Johnson, an Iowa farm wife. 
Kincaid, 52, is a photographer for National Geographic?, A strange, almost mystical travler of Asian deserts, distant rivers, and ancient cities, he is a man who feels out of harmony with his time. Francesca Johnson, 45 and once a young war bride from Italy, lives in the hills of south Iowa with flickering memories of her girlhood dreams. 
Each of them is content, yet when Robert Kincaid drives through the heat and dust of an Iowa summer and turns into her farm lane looking for directions, their illusions fall away, and they are joined in an experience of uncommon and stunning beauty, an experience that will haunt them forever.

As the photographer Kincaid uses light to reveal not objects, but rather his own kind of truth, what occurs by the old bridges of Madison County becomes a prism transforming the ordinary emotions we think we understand into something rare and brilliant.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0446364495, Mass Market Paperback)

When Robert Kincaid drives through the heat and dust of an Iowa summer and turns into Francesca Johnson's farm lane looking for directions, the world-class photographer and the Iowa farm wife are joined in an experience of uncommon truth and stunning beauty that will haunt them forever. The romantic classic of the 1990's.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:59 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

When Robert Kincaid drives through the heat and dust of an Iowa summer and turns into Francesca Johnson's farm lane looking for directions, the world-class photographer and the Iowa farm wife are joined in an experience of uncommon truth and stunning beauty that will haunt them forever.… (more)

» see all 9 descriptions

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