Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I gave this book 5 stars for many reasons. Not the least of which is that it is 947 pages long and held my interest the entire time. (I read it in 5 days.)
What I loved most about this book is how REAL it was. The characters were complex and difficult and you couldn't really decide whether to slap them or hug them.
Scarlett O'Hara is ridiculous, self centered, abusive and idiotic. And yet I rooted for her. (But I also wanted justice to take it's sweet vengeance.) If that is not great story telling, I don't know what is.
The racism in the novel is quite offensive by today's standards, but put in the context of Civil War and Reconstruction it feels brutal but honest.
I very much appreciated the even view of the war (I guess I expected the book to be pro-South.) Mitchell was fair, showing the follies and horrors of both the Union and the Confederacy. Same with Reconstruction.
What surprised me the most, was how the emotion that this book brought out in me. Anger, loads of anger (mostly directed at Scarlett.) Heartbreak, I bawled as I have never bawled before while reading. There was heaving and sobbing. Thoughtfulness, the true devastation of war and rebuilding. It made me think. That is my favorite thing about reading: books that stay with me for days and days, take me to another place and make my mind work over new ideas and different concepts.
5 stars. What are you waiting for?
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