Posts Tagged ‘Robert James Waller’

This story by Robert James Waller is a wonderful, short novel – the depiction of a romance, an affair, between two people whose paths crossed in a juncture in time and space which neither expected. The thought that seems to stay with me about the author’s style is that he writes with the heart of a woman, but the pen of a man. This is not a criticism, but rather a compliment. He tells the story of ¬†Robert Kincaid and Francesca Johnson with the lush feel of romance that a woman knows in her heart, yet without a touch of cloying sentimentality. Waller writes with a rich, but simple and straightforward style that I would generally attribute to a man. It’s a great combination and makes¬†The Bridges of Madison County a fast and engrossing read.

The gentle unfolding of this once-in-a-lifetime experience for the two of them and the simply told background of both characters made them especially real to me. I also really appreciated how the loose ends were tied up in the discovery of Kincaid’s belongings and Francesca’s letter after her death to her two adult children, then followed by an interview with a jazz musician in Washington who’d come to know Kincaid before he died. It was all beautifully done.

The romantic affair that lasted for four days while Kincaid was on assignment for National Geographic and Francesca’s family was away for the week at the state fair was the focus – and gem – of the book. Who wouldn’t be sent dreaming a bit after reading this novel?

As for the movie, I added it to my Netflix queue, but I must say I have my questions about Meryl Streep, brilliant as she is, as an Italian. I know Clint Eastwood plays Robert Kincaid, but I see Clint Eastwood as a bit more hard-edged than I saw Kincaid. He’s an excellent actor, but I’m not imagining that wild romantic streak of Kincaid. I guess I’ll just have to see on that one. I’m always ready to be surprised.

Here is the video and song that Robert James Waller created based on his book. Quality not great, but the song is fantastic. What a talented man.

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