After reading The Bridges of Madison County last year, I resolved to read its sequel, A Thousand Country Roads, as soon as possible. Finding a copy is not difficult, in fact I was able to buy A Thousand Country Roads first before Bridges. I cannot begin to say how much I cried over the love story of Robert and Francesca in Bridges, and I carried this same emotional feeling when I started to read A Thousand Country Roads. Although this book has not made me cry as much as I did with its prequel, still I got this feeling of deep emotional sadness and longing after I turned the last page.

In A Thousand Country Roads, Robert James Waller takes us into a journey with photographer Robert Kincaid and his dog, Highway, into an expedition called the Last Time where discoveries of love lost and found are revealed and the promise of everlasting love are made. If Bridges is more a story of Francesca Johnson, A Thousand Country Roads is an attempt to be acquainted with the illusive soul who is Robert Kincaid. I say attempt because although Robert’s life is told in this book, I feel that there is still something more about him and his personality that I cannot fully grasp. And I think this is what makes Robert such a well-loved character – his mystery and profundity.

The Bridges of Madison County is already sufficient in itself including the gaps in the story and I agree with some of the reviews that say there is no longer any need for a sequel. At most, A Thousand Country Roads merely a supplements Bridges but it is not an essential ingredient. For those readers who wanted to read more about Robert and Francesca in this book, you are in for a little disappointment because although there are chapters that mentioned Francesca, A Thousand Country Roads is more a story of Robert and his life before and after he met Francesca. Although I love the character of Robert Kincaid as a photographer, I feel that some of the discussions about photography in this book is already bordering on the lecture tone which makes it a little bit boring.

Still, A Thousand Country Roads is one fine read especially if you are a huge fan of Bridges and find it hard moving on after the very poignant love story of Robert and Francesca. I do not find reading this book a waste of time because although I was not entirely hooked to the story, I had a wonderful time appreciating (and studying) the beautiful prose. It is a great read but if you have other books on queue, there is no need to insert this book on the priority list.

“One great love in a single lifetime was enough for anyone. ”  p. 135


3 stars.

6/50 2012 Goodreads Reading Goal.

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