Elsa had been asking me to read Gone With the Wind (weighing in at just over 1000 pages) for a few years and I finally started it… Oh.. Maybe a year ago. I just finished it in July. My only references of the book were the line “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn” that Rhett says to Scarlett O’Hara. I also knew it was about the South in the Civil War timeframe. The final thing I knew about it was that it seemed to spawn the Harlequin book covers. I have no idea if this last one is true, it just seems to be. The dashing man with the torn open shirt and the jet black hair and the mustache bent over and kissing the voluptuous beauty in front of an inferno. So I didn’t have much more to go on other than those things when I started it. It was a difficult book to get into, but about a third of the way in, you get a sense of the grand scale and scope of the book. It basically follows Scarlett’s transformation from a teenager to an adult warts and all. A large chunk of it is dedicated to plantation life and the war. I really enjoyed the book as I find I typically do with expansive stories that take you deep into another person’s life. Other books that felt like this to me were The Fountainhead and The Stand. I am anxiously looking forward to the Blu-ray 70th anniversary release of GWTW this fall – I’ve never seen the movie – and I’m curious how well it will translate. If it is anything like The Fountainhead, I’ll most likely be disappointed but my hopes are a bit higher for GWTW.
I give it a 9 out of 10 for excellent character development, surprisingly strong plot, and a great love story at its core.