Set in a small town in Iowa, the story is about the love shared between free-spirited photographer, Robert Kincaid and a farmer's wife, Francesca Johnson.
In one of his National Geographic assignments, Robert Kincaid found his way to the Johnson's farm while looking for Roseman Bridge, one of the covered Bridges in Madison County. There, he met Francesca Johnson, who showed him where the bridge is and became his company. From that point on, they shared a love so rare, that it can only come once in a lifetime.
For less than a week, Francesca and Robert enjoyed being with each other, although knowing and was cautious of the fact that they are in a town where romantic affairs are judge harshly. For a brief moment, they created a world for themselves; bringing the best of who they are. They shared moments that only true lovers shared, moments that Francesca can only hope for from her husband, and a bond so strong, it bound them for the rest of their lives.
When reality finally stepped in as Francesca's family was coming back home, she was torn between her love for the stranger she met only a few days ago and the affection she had for her husband of many years. For the moment, she chose to sacrifice Robert for her family.
Robert sent Francesca a copy of National Geographic Magazine that featured the covered bridges with a letter reminding her of his love. For years, they both held on to the memories...
In the end, the bridge that brought them together was the same bridge that united them in death. Although they never got the chance to see each other again, Francesca, after knowing that Robert's ashes were scattered near Roseman's Bridge willed that her's too be scattered there. Her children, who at first could not believe their mother's romance with that strange photographer, follow what she cause by then they started to understand how she really felt.