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This is a love letter to love. Sure the author's focus is too much on Francesca as she flirts with adultery and not enough on Robert who has a more interesting story by far (or so Waller hints at it), but the story is so eloquently written we can forgive him for it. Too, we can forget we're reading a romance.
This one made me rethink my value system. Is it okay to cheat if it is with your soulmate? I think love wins out over obligation, but then again I'm a romantic! I highly recommend!
In the early 1960's I lived for a time in Madison County, Iowa. When a movie with Madison County in the title was released three decades later, I was living in northern Ontario, two hundred miles from the nearest cinema. I heard about it, but didn't catch up to either the movie or Robert Waller's somewhat famous book The Bridges of... until this month. Which is all to say, I was hardly an unbiased reader or watcher. I knew, not specifically of course, the characters, but certainly the setting, the story actually, and even the exuberant, corn-fed prose. What I still don't know is whether I was moved by the somewhat plodding dance of the only two real characters toward syzygy or their stoic acceptance of unrequited and posthumous love or the dreamy premise that Cupid has but one true arrow in his quiver, or perhaps something real, something immediate, some longing for things past or future. This sad comedy, this marriage of ashes beneath the Roseman Bridge, nearly bereft of real conflict and yet nearly turned into tragedy by a wall of unresolvable conflict, still has the capacity to charm, to suspend belief, to hurt.
Sometimes the movie is better than the book. Absolutely atrocious writing and a protagonist who resembles no actual human you will ever meet. Rent the movie: Streep and Eastwood find something wonderful in an otherwise hackneyed story.
This was an impulse pick after going to library to grab something to tie me over while I waited for a different book to come in. I had absolutely no idea what the book was about but I had heard the name so many times over the years that I figured I'd give it a go. I wasn't impressed. I personally get tired of reading about the adultery of people as if they are some kind of hero for acting impulsively and "spicing up their dreary lives." I think that it desensitizes us into thinking that there is a romance to stepping outside your morals for a torrid love affair when really it's horridly selfish and a betrayal to the person whom you share your life with. I can't feel any kind of sorrow for the protagonist of this story and thus was just disgusted in her actions. If you aren't happy with your partner, divorce. If you are bored with your life, get a hobby. Simple as that. There are other ways to feel fulfilled in your life that don't require you to hurt someone else. I realize this is an older book but it happens all the time and I think we need to stop romanticizing the notion of what is essentially just being a terrible person. Swing and a miss for me!
One of my favorite story ever. It is so beautiful and yet so sad and...well, if you have not read it go do so now. It is timeless.