The Bridges of Madison County

The Bridges of Madison County

by Robert James Waller

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reissue)

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The Bridges of Madison County 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 142 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I actually had heard about this book, and the movie, which I have never seen, as I am from Iowa (although not that part). I really think this book goes far beyond a romance novel, although it might appeal if you like those. But it is much deeper than that, as it is not only about love. It is about renunciation, and true connection between two people, and it is about destiny, and fate. It is also about unachieved dreams, and it is about understanding. Those are not themes covered by your average romance novel.
I think you understand this book better if you are from the rural Midwest, although the theme can be anywhere, any place. But, if you are from small town America, you get the parts of this book that elevate it above just a love story. To me, the book encompasses lots of things. I think Francesca's lack of fulfillment in her marriage and in rural Iowa are more understandable if you know what those towns and people are like. She is deeper than they, and her passion for Robert Kincaid is as much as about unfulfilled dreams as love. She is deeper than the people around and deeper than her husband, and has never known true love. She finds understanding and perfect passion, but it doesn't last in practical reality. But the connection and bond between her and Robert Kincaid is there across the miles, and I think you might have had to experience some of these things to like this book.
Adultery is a very realistic topic for fiction, and it isn't a bad one. It gives the flavor of the bittersweet even more to this book. I don't know how you could not like this book on those grounds. It makes it that much more realistic, like it could have happened. At any rate, especially about the Iowa parts of this book, I found myself just thinking exactly when I read about some of that stuff, and you have to understand the background to get the story. The background is spot on, and it makes the story come alive. However, I really liked this book, even though this isn't the stuff I normally read.
PiperGrissom More than 1 year ago
Written in 1992 by Robert James Waller,it stayed on the best seller list for over 150 weeks. This is the story of Francesca Johnson and Robert Kincaid. Francesca is a once-lovely Iowa farm wife, Robert is a photographer/poet/writer. They begin a four day affair that changes their lives forever. Not just about lust and sex, their story is about soul mates, eternal love, devotion, loss and magic. The book is written as a true story, in fact, it's all fiction. "There are songs that come free from the blue-eyed grass,from the dust of a thousand country roads. This is one of them." is the first line of the book. Written beautifully in lyrical prose, this is a must read. I own two copies of the novel, two copies of the book on tape, and two copies of the film. I named my youngest daughter Madison. Yes, it's that good.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book at least once a year.It is so powerful that I know when I pick it up I will not put it down until I am done.It is supburbly written. I had a 'Robert Kincaid' love in my life over 20 years ago and I can feel every word in the depths of me. I can not imagine that anyone could ever portray this magic, bittersweet love story better than Robert James Waller.I wish I could thank Robert for touching me in the way that he has with this book.His words are a warm remberence.They reach out and embrace. They ever so gently caress.They are as soft as butterfly wings and as strong as ocean tides. I smile, I cry, I reflect and most of all I savor wonderful memories.However, maybe if you have not loved in this all consuming, spiritual, magical way you will not feel the true power of this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book not long after it came out. Also saw the movie a bit later. Same reaction each time. Author managed to bring the characters to life. Very sad story, but leaving a good aftertaste.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it. Very touching.
lilyML More than 1 year ago
I new about this book from a while back and just got around to reading it. I fell utterly and completely in love with the book. Francesca and Robert had a love so deep that it was timeless and ageless. It brought tears to my eyes because I could releate to their dilemma. This was not only a book about true love but it was also a book about how love does not conquer all when faced with real life responsibilities. Two other books that I've read with the characters facing similiar situations are The Notebook and Dear John. If you haven't read those books, please do...they are tearjerkers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first read this book a couple of years ago and immediately fell in love with it and cried at the end. I think we all wish for a moment we could have a love like Robert and Francesca's--maybe some people do. Not only does this book focus on a love story it also makes you think about the choices that you make in your life. As Francesca said 'We are the choices we make.' Two misfits manage to find their way together. An absolutely wonderful story. The movie is well done too. Have a box of tissues ready.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Don¿t even try to say you¿ve never done it. Lust that is, after someone. The Bridges of Madison County is a well written contemporary classic about a heart thrashing, tear jerking love affair. Yes ladies it is the chic flick on paper. It all starts with a city man asking for directions in a little country town where everybody knows everybody. Her name was Francesca Johnson she was married with kids and he wasn¿t. It was an extremely secretive affair. When Francesca Johnson and Robert Kincaid meet, her family was out of town at the state fair in Illinois and Robert Kincaid was a photographer for National Geographic. When he first asked for directions she should have just told him the directions instead of getting in the truck with a stranger, not forgetting you¿re a married woman that lives in a small, noisy, country town. If she wouldn¿t have gotten into his truck named Harry to show him the bridge, she wouldn¿t have had to experience the pain of loving someone that you can¿t have. If she wanted to show it to him she could have drove her truck and he could have followed. This less than 5 minute ride to the bridge was enough to trigger both Francesca¿s and Robert¿s attraction towards each other. One thing differently I would have done if I were Francesca, would be that I would have written him a letter and kept in touch. She could have written Robert letters in her spare time. Francesca thought she was so sad; imagine not having anything at all to remember the person your in love with, but a piece of paper that was pinned to a bridge. Robert Kincaid had nothing to look at from Francesca, but that note. She had a picture, a few letters, jewelry, and cameras. She had a variety of things to remind her of their love. He had nothing but a note, no longer than 3 sentences. I guess that¿s what partly made this book so good to know that he loved her the way he did, because it is always heart warming to hear a man say I love you and mean it. This book is my favorite book, because it expresses true love and it also teaches you to never ever let anything or anyone pass you bye. This book should be read by everyone. It isn¿t only a chic book. It clearly states the way Robert Kincaid loved Francesca Johnson and the way she longed for him. So it might just teach guys that it¿s okay to fall in love with a girl. This is now my favorite book and I could read it 20 more times and be just excited as I was the first time I read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you like Nicholas Sparks' books, you will love this!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an interesting love story that can happen to people when they least expect it proving that true love does exist for some under unusual circumstances and does affect them for a lifetime and beyond.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book intrigued me deep down in my heart! It brings out what most of go through and crave for in real life. It fulfills what we dream of in love. This is what we call passionate love- when you are inside the person you love. Short-lived romances are often more magical. It's a must read for all those people who beleive in love, beauty, passion, magic...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great story but unfortunately you don't have to read it as the entire book is summed up in the overview. What a shame!
foof2you on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An easy read, an interesting story, yet one wonders why women are all agog about this story. If ANY man did what this woman does would be road kill. Raises some very interesting questions between the sexes.
chellerystick on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I finally read this one which was popular when I was a teenager. I think now was the right time to read it. It is about an austere affair, something with few accoutrements besides minds, bodies, and four days of hot, quiet summer. I would say that there is something of the declensionist point of view here... that passion is vanishing... and yet it bottles up a little of that passion. I suspect this is why it became so popular. Adulthood is rarely that intense of an experience and this novel reminds us what falling in love is like. It also affirms it as an adult possibility--the characters are in their 40's and 50's at the time of the affair--rather than being one more high school romance. It is a fairy tale in which the "happily ever after" is not their dissolving their past to create a blank future, but rather carrying that light with them into their future responsibilities. The poetry was not awful, the sex was not awful, and the book was quite short, so I did enjoy myself as I read it.
mrsrjd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I listened to this book on the heels of The Horse Whisperer and so felt I'd had more than my share of idealized, justified adultery pushed in my face. Moralizing aside, The Bridges of Madison County was by far a more palatable story of forbidden love, or lust. Bridges seemed nearly poetic in style and the characters, while not fully developed, danced well to Waller's cadence. I would recommend this book to fans of romance and/or poetry.
hamiltonpam on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I saw the movie first, but it did not ruin the book. It was a great read.
koalamom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What a beautiful, wonderful love story, the kind of love that lets you go but still not want to do so. The kind of love that transcends everything. The kind that just can't really be real until it happens to you.
Monica71 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Do I feel guilty about loving a book about adultery? No. Because I am a realist. This is an amazing book about life and the insanely difficult choices that fall into our laps when we least expect it. Or do they happen because we are dying inside and are unaware of it, reaching out for a life preserver? Do you agree with the decision she ultimately makes? That depends on weather you lead with your heart or your head, or in this case both.
connect2jamie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this when I initially read it back in 1992. I don't know if I'd like it as well now--I need to reread it. I know I definitely liked it less when I saw the movie...hmmm.....
cal8769 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very moving, a true love story where you want the couple to succeed even though they are adulterous.
aarthimuralidharan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very romantic. The portrayal of characters and the first person narration is superb. Though the story is slightly beyond the realms of reality, it explains something which could happen to anyone. It is all about this lady, Francesa who meets the man of her dreams when she is already married and a mother of 2 kids.
KLSimpson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was one of the first books that actually made me cry! A beautifully written love story.
saskreader on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I worked in a bookstore during the frenzied craze surrounding this book. I resisted for about a year, then finally read it. It just wasn't very good. When I heard a movie was being made, I had extremely low hopes; however, the movie turned out to be surprisingly well done.
MyndiL More than 1 year ago
I have lived in Iowa my entire life and never had read this book until now. I have lived in the Des Moines area since 1999 and never visited Winterset until a week ago! And as of this moment, I have never seen the movie version of this book. While visiting the Roseman Bridge, we went to the gift shop now located there and my husband bought me the book. I'm so glad he did and that I decided to read it, because in spite of being nervous that I wouldn't like it or I would find it boring, I did love it and it was in no way boring. I find it hard to write this review without spoilers, so I hope people will get where I am coming from in my vague comments. The idea of what happened between Robert and Francesca is not one I'm fond of reading...but the theme of the book is about more than that. It's about finding that one person who your heart and soul calls out to and for. That idea I can totally get behind. We're all lucky, if in this life, we find someone who means that much to us. I also enjoyed the fact that I had visited some of the places mentioned in the book. Some of the settings for the events unfolding had been in my recent trip to Winterset. And I love that as far as we know this is basically a true story. I even read the forward and afterward from the author about his research and people he spoke to in order to get as much accuracy as possible. I recommend the book to readers of contemporary romance and anyone who loves the Covered Bridges in Winterset/Madison County, Iowa.