This is the story of a traveling photographer and a hard working & content farm wife who cross paths when he is on her street and asks her for directions. She is alone from her loving family for several days and they become extremely intrigued with eachother, and they quickly let their guards down and fall deeply in love. It's a story of unattainable love. It is a beautiful romance story that will have you laughing, smiling, and in tears!!
When The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller came out in 1992, it was THE book to read. Everyone was talking about it'with good reason. It's a good book, a short but satisfying read. It's a love story--an affair to remember, so to speak. In the summer of 1965 Francesca Johnson was a farm wife who meets Robert Kincaid, a National Geographic photographer, passing through town. He's interested in photographing the covered bridges in the area and asks Francesca for directions. When she offers to show him, there's an instant chemistry spark that slowly ignites into full-blown passionate fireworks. Her family is out of town, which is quite convenient for them. But this isn't just a "wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am" relationship. Robert and Francesca find true love. He heaps on the romantic mush she longs for and her husband is not built for. He tells her he loves her and cinches the deal by saying things like: "In a universe of ambiguity, this kind of certainty comes only once, and never again, no matter how many lifetimes you live." Or how about: "I'm no longer sitting next to you here on the grass. You have me inside of you as a willing prisoner." Great stuff for a lonely farm wife.
One of my friends didn't like the fact that Francesca kept journals of their time together in a chest along with Robert's magazine clippings, memories she clung to for the remainder of her life right under her unsuspecting husband's nose. The story actually opens with her grown children discovering these journals containing the incredible love story after their mother had passed away. I thought it revealed Francesca's undying love. Call me a sap, but I was moved by the book. Read other reviews at http://readinginthegarden.blogspot.com
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.
This is a great summer read. Emotional, romantic, a book about longing and love and frustration and duty and oh so nicely written. I recommend highly for a cruise, or a beach or a cold winter night by the fire.
A touching love story between a farm girl and a photographer for National Geographic who find each other at the wrong time but share toe timgling, heart felt love for each other all their lives. The book is just as good as the movie.
If you have ever had a love that you knew would never work out but would last forever in your heart you will be able to relate to this beautifully written story. Somehow knowing that it can not be more than the moment, makes your feelings a million times stronger for the times you are together. I cried thru almost the whole book. Beautiful love story, brings out lots of emotion, well worth reading over and over.
I just read it for the first time and absolutely loved it! I liked that it went beyond cliche characters and developed them into someone quite believable. Their separation made me ache and yet you knew they chose what was right. I would definitely recommend this book.
This was a great afternoon read. I loved the flow of the book and the way the story was woven into both lives. Gives you pause to think. What would you do? Characters weren't all that well developed since it was just a couple of days together. Didn't really like how an affair was romanticized into something to smile about years later.
I really like this book. It's sad, but well written. You can feel the desperation of lonliness from both main characters. Her marriage isn't perfect, but she does do the right thing in staying with her husband and children. I don't condone cheating on your spouse, ever, but you kind of understand.
I felt that this book was a generational/age appropriate book. It was good but I can see it hitting a woman older and in a marriage right on. I am neither of those. It wasn't what I expected it to be and thought that it would have been more detailed about their time together. Wasn't bad, wasn't great.
A wonderfully written true story of two hearts that came together but couldn't stay together. This has always been one of my favorite movies and now that I've read the book, it's one of my favorite books!
Not super impressed. I've got to say, I expected much more out of a book that has sold millions of copies, but it was nothing spectacular. At a short 171 pages it was a quick read. I think it took me an hour or two total. I found myself doing a lot of skimming though. The author tends to go off on tangents (which is bad news for an already short book). Don't be fooled by the way the book pretends to be a true story... it is fiction.
This is a story of a sweet, forbidden love that endured for decades. This book made me smile and made me feel sad all simultaneously. This is a book in the same class as the tear-inducing, "The Notebook."
I remember the first time I read "The Bridges of Madison County" and how it kept me up until late into the night just so I could finish it in one sitting. Having read it at least twice more, it is still as beautiful and poignant as it was that first time.
The love story between these two strangers that touched the rest of their lives is one of the best. Quite a quick read and such a beautiful story that will stay with you for a long time to come.
Throughout the book, I found myself wondering if it were true or not, and I see I'm not the only one: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/9607/0096.html#kincaid Part of me wanted to believe it, but part of me believed it had to be entirely made up, trying to deceive you into believing. It's a good book of a love that existed and yet, couldn't be. Tragic, and especially interesting to me because of Kincaid's profession, it makes up a nice little hardcover to sit down and read, though I'd probably designate it as a winter read rather than a summer one. The descriptions of sweltering heat would probably feel better on a freezing day than one already hot and sticky. It's a good book, but it's not terribly life-altering. 7 out of 10 perhaps.
I see why this novel was a best seller! Very romantic story told very well. I ended up watching the film a year or two after I had read the novel and it does NOT do the novel justice. The characters of Waller's novel are multifaceted and vibrant, a roll Clint Eastwood simply does NOT properly fill in the film adaptation. Would recommend this sure to be classic for a nice winter week of evening reading.
I read this with a buddy in my online book club, The Reading Cove.
Apart from having a decent opening, this story felt like a middle-aged man's wet dream. Very forced premise: a loner photographer, Robert Kincaid, gets lost on assignment, stops to ask for directions from a lonely, middle-aged housewife, Francesca Johnson, whose husband and children just happen to have just left her all alone for an entire week! So fate has them give in to an immediate and ill-fated attraction and they spend the next four days swimming in sap and having sex all over her poor husband's house.
I couldn't identify with this love story because it felt very contrived and underdeveloped. And I thought it was laughable that Francesca would leave such a detailed letter to her children for posterity. Didn't she have a friend or family member back home to spill her guts to? Would a woman really feel the need to inform her adult children in a post-mortem letter about exactly where in the house she'd had sex with a man she'd met 2.3 minutes ago? Please.
And some of the dialogue was so cheesy: "Robert, you're so powerful it's frightening" during sex had me laughing out loud to distraction!
At least the movie had Meryl and Clint in it, lol.
There must've been an awful lot of lonely housewives out there who bought this book to make it the bestselling hardcover novel of all time...but for me, it's a C-. I really wish I'd enjoyed it more.
A flashy tale of a lonely woman alone and a mysterious drifter on asssignment to photograph the Bridges os Madison County. Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep are the very best choices for this made for a movie idea. A very fast read.
A romantic story of a chance meeting of Robert Kinkaid and Francesca Johnson in the Winterset, Iowa area, while he was on assignment to take pictures of the seven covered bridges in the area.
He gets lost and cannot find the 7th bridge, and stops to ask for directions.
In the four days they are together, they fall in love and are forever longing for one another, but their love is a forbidden love that can never be.
I don't usually seek out romantic stories, but I'm glad I found this one.
Touching, cheer full, but yet sad. This book will bring out all of those emotions and more. Get it and read it.
By the way, I plan on visiting these same bridges the summer of 2015.
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 passion and emotion that will haunt them forever. The romantic classic of the 1990's.
He could have walked out on this earlier, could still walk. Rationality shrieked at him "Let it go, KIncaid, get back on the road. Shoot t6he bridges, go to India. Stop in Bangkok on hte way and look up the silk merchant's daughter who knows every ecstatic secret the old ways can teach. Swim naked with her at dawn in jungle pools and listen to her scream as you turn her inside out at twighlter. But the slow street tango had begun. Somewhere it played he could hear it and old accordion. It was far back or far ahead he couldn't be sure. Yet it moved toward him steadily. And the sound of it blurred his criteria and funneled his own alternatives toward unity.
Every bad thing you've heard about this book is true.
Horrible. Pure rubbish. It's safe to say that I lost multiple IQ points as a result of reading such a poorly imagined and written novel.
Its saving grace is its brevity. I finished this book because I wanted to see if it was in fact the worst book ever written. I'm not sure if it wins that prize, but it's definitely right up there in quality - or lack thereof - with Nicholas Sparks' "The Notebook".
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 him to leave, Robert wants her to go with him, but she makes the painful decision to stay with her family. After Robertos;s gone, Francesca keeps track of him through his pictures in National Geographic. She notices the careworn lines of his well-traveled face, the medallion around his neck that bears her name. After he dies, his ashes are scattered near the bridge they photographed together, and she receives a box of his personal effects. When she dies, she leaves them to her children, along with three volumes of writing which contain her story of their love. True love shines in this spare, simple story. Not literary so much as classic, the love story of Robert and Francesca is as universal and eternal as Romeo and Juliet.
He could have walked out on this earlier, could still walk. Rationality shrieked at him. "Let it go, Kincaid, get back on the road. Shoot the bridges, go to India. Stop in Bangkok on the way and look up the silk merchant's daughter who knows every ecstatic secret the old way can teach. Swim naked with her at down in jungle pools and listen to her scream as you turn her inside out at twilight. Let go of this" - the voice was hissing now - "it's outrunning you."
But the slow street tango had begun. Somewhere it played; he could hear it, an old accordion. It was far back or far ahead, he couldn't be sure. Yet it moved toward him steadily. And the sound of it blurred his criteria and funneled his own alternatives toward unity. Inexorably it did that, until there was nowhere left to go, except toward Francesca Johnson.
My copy that is listed has the proper ISBN but is not a hardcover but an oversized softcover. Easy reading and a lovely story. Made into a major motion picture starring Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood.