Many novels have been written about the Civil War and its aftermath. None take us into the burning fields and cities of the American South as Gone With the Wind does, creating haunting scenes and thrilling portraits of characters so vivid that we remember their words and feel their fear and hunger for the rest of our lives.
In the two main characters, the white-shouldered, irresistible Scarlett and the flashy, contemptuous Rhett, Margaret Mitchell not only conveyed a timeless story of survival under the harshest of circumstances, she also created two of the most famous lovers in the English-speaking world since Romeo and Juliet. @goodreads
I spent over 12 hours today finishing this book. 1037 pages! 1. Because I wanted to know what was going to happen! 2. I have no sort of life so I can do this from time to time.
I can not believe it took me so long to read this book! I didn't think it would be my kind of book and I have never watched the movie <---I did order the blu-ray on Amazon today because I have to see it soon! I must say that GOODREADS has been a blessing and a curse in this department. I have broadened my horizons since being on GOODREADS from reading books my friends are reading or have read and this is one of them. I would have missed out on this book!
This book has so many feels for me:
I invested so much into so many characters. So many characters that died, that I loved... ones that didn't even have much of a role in the story, I loved them. I thought this was just a love story around the war, but it's so much more. Dear God, Margaret Mitchell knew how to write a book about it all. No holds barred!
I have to make a small mention that I was born in Tennessee and it was so weird reading a bit part about Chattanooga (where I live now) in the book. I guess the biggest part was reading about the battle at Chickamauga, GA. I live 20 minutes from the Chickamauga Battlefield in Ga and used to hike it for many years with my dog and my father until things in my life went wrong. I have to say it's a most beautiful place with all of the land, wildlife, monuments, store, a lot of things. It's a lot nicer now that I would think back then during the war.
I had this love/hate relationship with Scarlett. I thought she was a spoiled, selfish person and the way she treated people and her own children were appalling. I loved that she was a crude business woman and just got it done. One of her slaves named Pork (who I loved) told her if she was as nice to white people as she was to black folk that the world might like her. But Scarlett didn't care, she said what she wanted and did what she wanted.
She didn't want to take care of Melanie when the soldiers were coming. She hated Melanie because she was married to Ashley, the man she always wanted. It was off the rails with all of that with him. Scarlet jumped right on the crazy train with that one and it cost her in the end. But Scarlet stayed with Melanie when she had her baby and got her to safety at Scarlett's home Tara. She took care of everyone in the family.. say what you want.. but -SHE.DID.NOT.LET.THEM.STARVE.
Hunger gnawed at her empty stomach again and she said aloud: "As God is my witness, as God is my witness, the Yankees aren't going to lick me. I'm going to live through this, and when it's over, I'm never going to be hungry again. No, nor any of my folks. If I have to steal or kill--as God is my witness, I'm never going to be hungry again."
Scarlett hated every moment of taking care of her family. Of worrying about others, but she did it. In a war that was senseless.
Margaret Mitchell told everything like it is, laid it out bare for us to cringe and hate and cry. So many things were so wrong, but it was what it was...
My favorite character was Melanie. She was such a kind soul, but she had her moments when she got her backbone on and told people like it was, and they respected her because of this kindness. She was married to Ashley and I thought she was going to die in childbirth but she lived through it. It wasn't her time yet.
I loved Scarlett's dad a lot - Gerald O'Hara. This is where Scarlett got her temper. But he was a funny man, a good man to his family and people and animals. I loved Mrs. Tarleton, Grandma Fontaine, Mammy, Uncle Peter.. there are so many I can't even name them all and like I said before some were only in the book a few times.
Scarlett married twice and had two children. She didn't care for children and she didn't care for her husbands, she just did what she did to get what she needed.
I had a love/hate relationship with Rhett too. Back in those days it was okay but he was a way older man taking up or trying to take up with a younger girl in Scarlett. But it wasn't just that he just got on my nerves with is comings and goings. I think if he really loved Scarlett for that long he should have told her and wooed her and then maybe things would have turned out differently. I have no idea.
Scarlett did have a child with Rhett as well. Things were all good in the home for a while and then things went way down hill....... It was sad to read, hard to read. I wish the ending was different, but it wasn't. It was an extremely sad ending for two different reasons and I won't give those away. I know most people have probably read the book or watched the movie a million times and already know but still. I cried and cried! :-(
This is a tremendously heartbreaking book, but I'm so, so glad that I read it!
AMAZON LINK TO THE BOOK ( I could find the used book I bought that is 1037 pages)