The Bridges of Madison County

Walking with Cake: The Bridges of Madison County

(The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller.)

I didn’t plan for this to be Book Week here on my blog, but that’s how things have turned out.  And I don’t consider myself particularly romantic either, but for some reason, I picked up The Bridges of Madison County recently, and, if you’ll excuse the pun, fell in love.  I was in middle school when the book was first released, and the well-known film appeared a few years later, so I remember the hype surrounding the story of two strangers who fall in love over a period of four brief days, but I was too young to read or appreciate it.  Now, as an old, married woman, I can.

The book is really what you’d call a novella, since it’s fairly short and really focuses on the two main characters, but it’s lovingly written.  I don’t read romance novels (Maeve Binchy is about as romantic as I get), and though I’ve seen The Notebook, it’s not on any of my top ten lists.  But somehow, The Bridges of Madison County touched a nerve and I’ve found myself thinking about it a lot lately.  Especially about Robert James Waller, the author, who writes with a sweetness and honesty usually reserved for women writers.  After finishing the book, I bought his other two works, A Thousand Country Roads (the epilogue to The Bridges of Madison County) and Slow Waltz in Cedar Bend.  I’ve yet to read them, but I’m looking forward to starting.

And I know that Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep played the lovers, separated by time and circumstance, but I can’t bring myself to watch the movie.  Eastwood just doesn’t seem right for the role of photographer Robert Kincaid, in my opinion, (Kris Kristofferson, maybe) so I’ll leave the characters alone in my mind.

If you haven’t read the book, it’s a lovely way to spend a couple of evenings, and I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed it.  Just don’t expect me to try Nicholas Sparks any time soon!

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