Gone With the Wind

I’ve been trying to check “A classic romance” off my list since the beginning of the 2015 Reading Challenge. I had my heart set on Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, but all the copies at the library have been checked out. Finally got my copy and discovered a probable reason for the long delay.

I didn’t know Gone With the Wind is over 1000 pages long.

Fortunately, I enjoyed the book immensely. Prior to reading it, I knew three things about Gone With the Wind. Or rather, 3 quotes.

“I don’t know nothin’ about birthin’ no babies.”

“God as my witness, I’ll never go hungry again.”

“Frankly, Scarlett, I don’t give a damn.”

And I’m not even sure I have those accurate, since it’s my understanding that they came from the movie, which I also haven’t seen.

Anyway, I found the book to be a great read, though I couldn’t decided if I enjoyed Scarlett O’Hara, or if I wanted to beat her over the head with all 1000 pages of the book. It’s amazing to see a character as spoiled, selfish, and vain as Scarlett who still manages to carry the story and keep you interested. Really, her only redeeming qualities are her determination and courage.

Set during the Civil War, Gone With the Wind gives an intense look at the Southern side of the war through the eyes of Scarlett. They say history is written by the victors, and in that light, most of what I’ve read has always focused on slavery as the reason for the war. To see another side was interesting. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I am still strongly against slavery, but I understand another aspect of the South’s side. They wanted to retain their rights as independent States.

You also got to see a negative aspect of freeing the slaves. Some, of course, were perfectly fine and willing to be responsible citizens. Others, though, abused the new system and became dangerous.  They were freeloading, demanding, and spoiled, leaving perfectly innocent people quivering in terror and oppression.

I highly recommend the story. The historical side was fascinating, and Scarlett’s struggles had me cheering for her in spite of her behavior. I didn’t anticipate the ending, either.

Next time, I’ll be reviewing Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford for my “Book with antonyms in the title.”

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