In a universe of ambiguity, this kind of certainty comes only once, and never again, no matter how many lifetimes you live.”
My love affair with the bridges started many years ago with Richard Bach’s “The Bridge Across Forever: A Love Story” and it continued with Richard James Waller’s “Bridges of Madison County”, a book set around covered bridges in Madison County, Iowa that I came across in midst of some extremely unusual circumstances while on a holiday in Goa.
The book moved me to a different realm altogether, soaking my grief like a soft sponge. It also etched Roseman Bridge on my mind forever. (Roseman is the bridge Robert Kincaid seeks when he stops at Francesca Johnson’s farm for directions; it is also where Francesca leaves her note inviting him to dinner.)
Robert and Francesca’s unusual love story touched my heart deep down.
I recently read the sequel “A thousand country roads” to the book which brought their story to a closure.
Following are few reader’s expressions on reading “Bridges of Madison County ” and I agree with almost all of them:
“Bridges of Madison County was a book that crossed by path by accident. I am glad it did. I actually had to finish the book in a mutliple sitting because I was crying so hard I could no longer read the words on the page.”
“What a beautiful, wonderful love story, the kind of love that lets you go but still not want to do so. The kind of love that transcends everything. The kind that just can’t really be real until it happens to you. “
“Do I feel guilty about loving a book about adultery? No. Because I am a realist. This is an amazing book about life and the insanely difficult choices that fall into our laps when we least expect it. Or do they happen because we are dying inside and are unaware of it, reaching out for a life preserver? Do you agree with the decision she ultimately makes? That depends on whether you lead with your heart or your head, or in this case both”
“Probably one of the greatest love stories ever written. It’s the simplicity of the story that’s magic. People can relate to Francesca as their ordinary lives become complacent. The dreams of being swept away by a stranger, giving up everything you hold dear for one last chance. Robert said it best, “Francesca I know you had your own dreams.” Waller is a truly great writer whom I admire greatly not just because of his writing skills but the fact that he is also an accomplished musician, world class photographer and was Dean of a business school. Read the book and then watch the movie. Better yet also listen to the audio version of Waller reading the book. I have many times and surely will again”
And yes, the affair continues, the search continues. A quest to find the bridge that would link up the gap between one’s aspirations and the reality, looking for a certainty that comes once in your lifetime, a certainty that helps one attain the ultimate nirvana in life and beyond.