Boekverslag : Robert James Waller - The Bridges Of Madison County
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The Bridges of Madison County

The Author

The author of The Bridges of Madison County is Robert James Waller. When he published the book in 1992, he was professor of management at the University of Northern Iowa. The book The Bridges of Madison County was very successful and Waller stopped teaching and wanted to become a full-time writer.


Robert Kincaid went to Iowa to make some photos of the bridges in Madison County. This is the reason why Francesca Johnson and Robert Kincaid met each other. Otherwise they would never have met each other.


The whole story happens in Winterset, a little village in Madison County in Iowa in 1965. Robert Kincaid was a 52-year-old single man and a photographer for National Geographic. Francesca was unhappily married and 45 years old.


It is the sixty-seventh birthday of Francesca Johnson. When the visitors had left, she read the letter from Robert Kincaid. Robert Kincaid went to Madison County for making some photos of the 6 covered bridges there. Robert was searching for Roseman Bridge, but he could not find it and he came in the little village Winterset, where he asked Francesca the way to the bridge. When Robert saw Francesca, he had a special feeling for her and Francesca had a special feeling for Robert. Instead of telling him the right way, Francesca brought Robert in his truck, called Harry, to Roseman Bridge, where Robert made some photos. After this Francesca invited Robert for dinner. Francesca's husband and children were away from home for a week. Robert and Francesca had a great evening and Francesca wanted to see him more often. When he left, he went to Roseman Bridge again for making photos at dawn. Without Robert knowing it, Francesca left a note for him near the bridge. The note was a sort of an invitation and the next day Robert called Francesca telling her he would like to come, but first he had to do his work. They had a great night and they made love. They had a fantastic relationship for a couple of days, but then came the day that Robert had to leave, because Francesca's husband and children were coming home and they were not allowed to know about their relationship.

After the death of Francesca's husband Francesca tried to locate Robert Kincaid, but she could not find him. A couple of years later she received a packet from Robert, things he left to her after his death.

In January of 1989 Francesca Johnson died at the age of sixty-nine. She left a letter to her children who did not know yet about Francesca's relationship with Robert Kincaid, but she could not take it with her into her grave.


Unfinished love.


The genre of The Bridge of Madison County is a romantic novel.

Main character

The main characters are Francesca Johnson and Robert Kincaid. I think Francesca is a very brave woman and I didn't expect her to begin a love affair with Robert Kincaid. In spite of her love affair Francesca chooses for her husband and children. I think this is very characteristic. Robert Kincaid is an intelligent photographer. He loves Francesca his whole life. Robert lives in his own world when he is alone in his truck on the road.

Point of view

The story is told in the third person, but at one time through Francesca's eyes and at the other time through Robert's eyes. The Bridge of Madison County is a reliable story.

The narrative

The story is not built up chronologically. In the first chapter you can read that Robert Kincaid leaves his house for a long trip to Madison County. In the second chapter you read that Francesca remembers Robert. In the following chapters you read the story of how they met each other. These chapters are flashbacks.


I think the story can be true, because there are no unrealistic things in the story.

My opinion

I think The Bridges of Madison County is a very nice book. Before I read the book I though it was a boring love story. After reading it I like the book very much, because the story is not just like all the other love stories. The book is easy to read and it was really a very nice story. The moment Francesca and Robert met each other for the first time was the most special moment for me, because you feel the power of attraction between Francesca and Robert.

I think Robert James Waller is a very good writer, because he does not make the story long-winded, but he keeps the story racy. The story is racy, because you read the feelings of both people and it looks like a very long love affair, but it covers only a few days.
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