May 17, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT

A pile of pompous goop. At least Waller’s Bridges of Madison County had a real love story going for its unabashedly drippy self. Fans of Francesca Johnson and Robert Kincaid should well remember that Bridges’ ending revealed that the lovers never reunited after their tryst. Since never the two shall meet, the bulk of the novel is devoted to his long-lost son, Carlisle, spawn of (that dog!) another affair from his past. ”As for Carlisle McMillan, his own story concerning what is known as the Yerkes County War and a woman who changed him from a boy to a man is worth the telling.” Is it though?

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