This is the tale of Scarlett O’Hara, the spoiled, manipulative daughter of a wealthy plantation owner, who arrives at young womanhood just in time to see the Civil War forever change her way of life. A sweeping story of tangled passion and courage, in the pages of Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell brings to life the unforgettable characters that have captured readers for over seventy years.
Wow. Just…wow. That’s the only way I can describe this book.
Gone With the Wind starts by bringing us into the year 1861, not too long before the civil war begins. Scarlett is a popular southern belle, always getting the male attention and everything she wants… except for one Ashley Wilkes. This is just the beginning of the troubles Scarlett will endure over the coming years and let me tell you, this book takes you on a hell of a journey.
To be frank, Scarlett is a bitch. Yet her being the way she is works perfectly for this novel. It had to take some serious guts for Mitchell to write Scarlett this way because more often than not, readers will put down a book that has a main character like Scarlett. Though in a way she has that small bit of redemption at the end where she actually regrets the way she’d acted for, well, her entire life (which I believe she’s only 28 by the end of the book?). She also comes to realize that people aren’t the way she originally viewed them… Melanie is actually a strong and loving character, whereas her “beloved” Ashley isn’t the strong, honorable man she’d been dreaming of since her early teen years. It’s sad when you think about how she’d wasted those years with the wrong picture of them – Scarlett could have been very good friends with Melanie and not wasted time pining over Ashley, which would’ve allowed her to be loved by Rhett the way he’d wanted to.
And speaking of Rhett… man I wanted to dislike him, but I ended up mostly loving him. He was the only one who would beat Scarlett at her own game, making him the perfect match for her. Though the man by his own admission wasn’t a proper gentleman, at least he was honest about it. And you could see that he did really love Scarlett at one point, it’s too bad that she was too selfish and blind to see that until the very end. Despite all of Rhett’s flaws, he was definitely a favorite character of mine because, again, he even admitted he was shady at times. Plus his wit and sarcasm gave him points in my book.
Now I’m not one for historical fiction, so my only complaint for this book is that it gets a bit lengthy when discussing the war. Other than though, this book is just amazing. I can actually feel like I’m in Georgia during the 1860’s and right alongside Scarlett and Melanie as they live through those uncertain times. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that throughout the book I pretty much lived for the encounters between Scarlett and Rhett because those were the most entertaining parts of the entire story.
Overall though… this is a fantastic read and I’m kicking myself for not picking it up right away when I’d gotten it as a gift two years ago. Gone With the Wind was a story I won’t forget anytime soon, and the dang thing even gave me a book hangover (which I’m still suffering from).
Rating: 5/5 stars