Roseman Bridge

Love Happens...

Love Happens…

The Bridges of Madison County is the only book which has mesmerized me so much so that I have read everything available about Iowa, Middle River, Winterset, Des Moines and Madison County and all the covered bridges in Winterset. The book was casually brought home from DSOI library by Naom and she just threw it on my bed saying its a good one, since you love “Love Stories”. I never knew the impact of the book would have on me until I finished it reading it in flat 2 days. Then somehow, over the weekend I downloaded the movie and saw it on my desktop. I cried my eyes out…and Francesca and Robert have never left my mind ever since.

This was way back in 2011 and I had just met my guy. We had just began dating and the realities bit me hard. The attraction and connection with him were challenging my conscious and my heart was saying something totally opposite of what was shown in the movie/book. Probably that was the reason why I got so overwhelmed by this book. I was in a dilemma about being right and wrong at the same time.

“The Bridges of Madison County” is about two people who find the promise of perfect personal happiness, and understand, with sadness and acceptance, that the most important things in life are not always about making yourself happy.

The story  is set in a country side in the town of Winterset, Iowa ,where the farmers grow Corn in their fields.Their lives are monotonous and based around agriculture and some farm events round the year. Francesca is an Italian woman, who met her then future husband ,an american World war II soldier in Italy. They fall in love, get married and eventually, John brings her to his ancestral farmhouse in Iowa. The main characters Francesca and Robert are brought to life on screen by Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood.

Such a story could so easily been gross and untasteful , could be reduced to obvious elements of seduction, sex and melodramatic parting. Streep and Eastwood weave a spell, and it is based on that particular knowledge of love and self that comes with middle age.Older ones do not declare themselves. Unlike their younger counterparts, the pair exercise restrain and wisdom. Particularly Francesca ,to save her family the shame that they may have to face in their small town where everyone knows who is having an affair with whom. Also there is a moment in the movie when Francesca tells Robert that if they decide to spend the rest of their lives together then their lives would return to the same old mundane things and they would never realize the love that they have or felt for each other. The only way to treasure their love was to stay apart rest of their lives so that they can hold onto that love for each other forever. What a beautiful thing to feel!

Richard and Francesca are not falling in love with each other exactly, but with the idea of their love, with what Richard calls “certainty.”

Clint Eastwood made the film from the point of view of Francesca. Her loneliness, her dreams, her desires, her frustrations, her day to day routine, her decisions and her life. After the success of the book, no one ever thought the movie will have more impact than the book but it did. It showed emotions of two people experiencing love at an unlikely stage of their lives and how they cope up with it and pull on with their existence, rest of their lives. When Francesca receives Robert’s will , she comes to know his last wish. “To be under the same Roseman bridge where they came to know each other.” She too wishes her ashes to be sprayed under the same bridge in the Middle river so that after life they could be together.

Heart wrenching, mind blowing power of love written by Robert James Waller and legends of cinema, Streep and Eastwood casting a magical spell on screen!

Visiting the Francesca’s Farmhouse which is open to tourists in the season and the covered bridges of Madison County are pending items in my bucket when I visit US sometime next year. Iowa it is next summer…!




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