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The Bridges of Madison County

Updated: Sep 15, 2022

There are twenty-six letters in the English alphabet and a seemingly infinite number of ways to combine them, to portray every emotion a human might experience.

If there is one overarching sentiment I appreciate after reading this book, it's that the simple beauty of romance can never be fully captured with inky black symbols, even if they are arranged in the most perfect fashion. You can get close, yes, but in the end, true romance and love is something that can only be felt.

With that being said, I have never read words more poetically beautiful than those penned by Mr. Waller. It's as if Robert James Waller shares more than just a forename with the main character, Robert Kincaid. I am certain there is an invisible connection between the two of them. In so many stories, there are distracting elements in the background. Noise that somehow clouds our interpretation of what's important. Not so in this one. I could hear the silence between the words in this story. I could feel the emotion inside those moments. It was sensual, in the modern interpretation of the word as well as in the traditional one. The story and tone completely immersed you inside all of the physical senses, and even those unnamed ones beyond that realm.

In countless places, my heart was torn apart and healed, all inside the span of a single sentence. This paradox and the roller coaster ride of emotions encapsulates the rapturous essence of love. There are a few places in this novel where the author hints that this story almost didn't come to light. To not share the beautiful art inside the photographs, words, and emotions of this heart-wrenching romance would have been a loss to the world. So, thank you Carolyn and Michael, for allowing this story to be told, and for entrusting it to someone who shared it in such a poignantly beautiful way.

While I write and appreciate happily-ever-after endings, there is another type of story that is perhaps even more powerful, hopefully-ever-after. This is one of those. As I sit here typing this review, raindrops trace a path down my window. Some race to their destination at the bottom while others meander in a nomadic way to explore all life has to offer. We're too often in a rush. Four minutes can be as powerful as four years, or even forty, if we embrace that moment, fully and completely.

If you haven’t read this book, go read it. If you’ve already read it, promise to read it again. We need more of the unnamed sentiments in this book to pour into our world. There is a bygone nostalgia and charm, a flame that can be reignited through stories like this. Embrace the magic of love. Believe in it, feel it, and share it. Always.

Dave’s Rating: ☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️


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