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The Bridges of Madison County Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 1995
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This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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Probably the most irresistible love-story formula is that of true love lost, along the lines of Romeo and Juliet, Gone with the Wind, and Titanic. The Bridges of Madison County, a monster hit of the early 1990s, is that kind of torturous melodrama, writ small. Very small. Because lone wolf photographer Robert Kincaid has only four adulterous days to spend with shy Iowa farmhouse wife Francesca Johnson before her husband returns from the state fair with the kids in tow. The novella-sized affair feels much longer than it actually is, mostly because Francesca spends a lot of time gazing at her lover, who is described, by turns, as a "leopard," "peregrine," "shaman," and "star-creature." The worldly loner melts under this adoration and ends up begging her to run away with him to a safari-adventure life in exotic locales all over the world. "We'll make love in the desert sand and drink brandy on balconies in Mombasa, watching dhows from Arabia run up their sails in the first wind of morning. I'll show you lion country and an old French city on the Bay of Bengal." Alas, Francesca keeps fast to her Midwestern family values. She lets the love of her life (who will, as a result, stay true to her until he draws his last breath) drive away in his truck without her, while leaving it up to her diary to confess the affair to her children after her death. --Sumi Hahn Almquist --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Quietly powerful and thoroughly credible, Waller's first novel (he previously wrote two books of essays) describes the profound love between a photographer and an Iowa farmer's wife who, together for only four days, never lose their feelings for each other. In August 1965, 52-year-old divorce Robert Kincaid packs his pickup truck and travels to Iowa's Madison County, the location of seven covered bridges he is to photograph for National Geographic . There, he asks directions of Francesca Johnson, alone at home while her husband and two children visit the Illinois State Fair. Initially, neither Robert nor Francesca expects their random encounter to lead to seduction, yet their mutual desire is undeniable. Waller tells their story as though it were nonfiction, claiming to have heard about Francesca from her children after her death, read her journals, seen Robert's relics of those four days and interviewed a jazz musician who knew the photographer. Scenes between the lovers are movingly evoked and moments with Francesca, who celebrates her birthday 22 years later by reflecting on her brief time with Robert, are particularly poignant. An erotic, bittersweet tale of lingering memories and forsaken possibilities. Photos of covered bridges serve as illustrations. 35,000 first printing.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.