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


Robert James Waller

Year of first publication


My expectations

Before I read the book I was told that the book was a great love story. It also sounded familiar, that's because this book is quite famous. The title didn't give me many ideas of what the story would be like, so I started reading expectat little.

I was right about my only expectation. The big theme in this book, love, was brought out very well. I have never before enjoyed reading a book as much as this one. Normally after having read a love story you think it is a nice story, nothing more. With this book you are being drawn into their story. You can feel what Robbert and Francesca are feeling; real love, the pain of not seeing eachother, the desire for eachother. It is just magnificent!

I also know now what the title stands for. It is about the bridges Robbert took his pictures of. Robbert and Francesca were brought together thanks to these bridges!

I think Francesca is a really strong and brave woman. She came in the position to choose between the love of her life and her responsibility she had in her old place. A responsibility to Richard and the children. Her leaving, just taking away her physical presence, would be hard enough for Richard. On top of that he would have to live the rest of his life with the whispers of the people there. The children would hate her for it. You can see she isn't selfish in any way, because when she was, she could have left immediately, but she didn't. She stayed with her family and said goodbye to the love of her life.

I don't know if I could have made the same decission as Francesca did. I think I would have been selfish and have left with my big love. I would explain my story to my children so they would know Ireally love them and they wouldn't hate me for acting so impulsively. You can't let your love of your life walk away!

I see Robbert as a man who dedicated his life to Francesca. She is the one he lives for, nothing else. Because the story shows more the thoughts of Francesca, you know little about Robbert. That's why I can't give a very good impression about him. I see him as a good, nice and warm person wo doesn't only look after himself but also after others, like Francesca.

I have already said I've never read a book giving me such great pleasure while reading it. That's because the story is so beautiful and also tragic. The writer pulls you into the book so it looks like you are the one who plays in the story. It made me feel like Francesca. I could feel what she was feeling, how she was cought up between two fires; her love and her family. And then, after all those years the need for him and then the knowing you will never see him again because he's dead. It's really incredible.

The most important happening was the decision Francesca made. To stay or not to stay. After she made that it was very beautiful to read how they said goodbye. The last time they looked eachother right in the eye, knowing this would be ‘the end' of them. One thing I also think is very beautiful is the fact that Francesca's ashes scattered at Roseman Bridge. The place that brought the two together and the place where Robbert's ashes were also was scattered. I see this scattering as a symbol of living together forever. They are now reunited, after all this time, living in the hereafter.

I think Francesca is the most interesting person in the story. I have got the same reasons for that as I have told before. She is a strong, great and powerful woman who made a decission that wasn't the best for her but for her family. She sacrified her happy life for a happy life for those she also loved; her children and her husband.
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