Graceann's Reviews > A Thousand Country Roads

A Thousand Country Roads by Robert James Waller
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's review
Nov 08, 09

Recommended for: Bridges of Madison County Fans
Read in November, 2009 — I own a copy, read count: 1

I am one of the people who adored BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, both book and film, and am not ashamed to say so. Many years after reading the first lyrical novel, I remember staying up all night to finish it and how I sobbed over the love of Francesca and Robert. I did then wonder what happened to Robert in those "missing years," and filled in the blanks with my own imagination. Robert James Waller topped me, of course.

The author indicates in his preface that this book will not likely stand on its own for those who have not read BRIDGES, and I agree. For those who have, however, it provides a lovely coda to those four days in 1965, with some surprises along the way. More is shared about Robert Kincaid's life both before and after his time with Francesca. Waller has that unique gift of being able to describe a place in such a way that you feel you're sitting there next to him, and this gift does not fail him in COUNTRY ROADS. Big Sur, Mendocino, and even a small town in South Dakota come to life for the reader. He also shares with us the realities of growing older; our bodies begin to betray us, and we often lose ourselves in memories.

My intention was to take my time reading A THOUSAND COUNTRY ROADS. I knew that this would be the last time I'd get to hear anything new from these characters, and I was loath to rush through that experience. When it came down to it, however, I couldn't read the pages fast enough. I just had to know what happened next and though all who read BRIDGES know how it ends, I wanted to know what came in between. I stayed up all night. Again. I cried. Again. I loved it. Again.
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message 1: by Petra (new)

Petra I read "The Bridges of Madison County" too several years ago as a teenager. I must admit that I loved the lyrical quality of it and of course the love story, even though it was far from my own world of experiences. I'm not sure one should be ashamed to love this book. Certainly many who read "Twilight" aren't, so why should we over this? I didn't know there was a novel now to "fill the blanks" but you certainly made me curious to find it and re-read "The Bridges of Madison County".

Graceann No, one shouldn't be ashamed to love the book, which is why I'm not. BRIDGES seems to be one of those books that a gazillion people loved when it came out but are now embarrassed to admit they even read, much less loved. I've never played that game; if I loved it to begin with, I don't try to hide that fact later on in order to keep up with the cynical masses. How interesting you mention Twilight; I was kind of thinking of that when I wrote the review - I wonder how many people will admit to their adoration for it fifteen years from now?

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