“The Bridges of Madison County” by Robert James Waller

The Bridges of Madison County

(Author: Robert James Waller) + (Year: 1992) + (Goodreads)


* Spoilers ahead. Though, honestly, if you’ve read even one Nicholas Sparks book, none of this should come as a surprise. *

So, I looked at the bestseller lists for 1993 and this one was the top book for the entire year. I needed a book published in ’93, because of the 2015 Reading Challenge: A Book That Came Out the Year You Were Born. I later found out that it was actually published in 1992, but I consider my duty done, since I couldn’t find anything else connected specifically to 1993.

Anyway, I’ll be blunt and I feel the need to apologize in advance: this is a book written for women who are past their prime and unhappy about their lives and look for hope wherever they can find it. 

It’s not a very good book either. It tells the story of a permanently sweaty photographer and a lonely farm wife, both of whom really want to have sex. There’s insta-love, almost insta-sex and a tragic separation of two people who are truly meant to be together – I mean, he asked her for directions, she noticed how sexily sweaty he is and that he has sweat stains on watch and drops of sweat on his chest, and decided to invite him over to show off her sexy 49-year-old butt and to shag him on their second “date”.

And to top that off, just before she died she wrote a letter to her children, which innocently starts with:

“If possible, please sit at the old kitchen table to read [this letter]. You’ll understand that request shortly.”

Then there is a lot of blah-blah-blah. And then, the big reveal a.k.a. why should they sit at the old kitchen table:

“In our old kitchen, Robert and I spent hours together. We talked and danced by candlelight. And, yes, we made love there…” 


She and Robert were separated because of her children, so she decided to get back at them by making them sit at the same table she had sex with a random guy on, while making them read about it. HAHAHAHAHAHAH WIN! And also…


As far as the love story goes, it’s a few degrees above laughable and unbelievable. Same goes to descriptions of their “love-making” and the way he is a tiger, or a panther, or I don’t know what that disturbing woman was describing him as. She is a neglected wife and the mother of two total a-holes who don’t really care about her enough to even visit on her birthday. All she does is farm and serve her husband beers. That’s exactly the type of woman an adventurous photographer, who’s been around the entire globe, would fall for. Not.

The writing is not any better than the characters. In the very first chapter, when Robert starts the journey which will eventually lead him to Francesca, the author lists the things Kincaid puts in his car – one by one. And lest we forget, two lines down Robert does a mental list of the very same things. Then every time his car, Harry, is mentioned, there is again a list of everything that’s in it. Every time. And when Francesca reminisces about him, she also thinks about the stuff in his car. First world problems, people!



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