4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Two of the most memorable characters in literature, and a lesson in American history,
This review is from: Gone with the Wind (Paperback)
This is undoubtably one of the best books you will ever read. It has two of the most memorable characters in literature - Scarlett O'Hara is spoiled and selfish, but determined and unfazed by social pressures; Rhett Butler is the perfect foil: a refreshingly honest bubble-burster who says things as he sees them. The writer understands that characters don't have to be likeable, only flawed enough for us to relate to them.
Then there's the setting: this book is a real education in the American Civil War. History is written by the winners, so this perspective from the losers is a fascinating one. The Civil War was a social revolution that not only freed the slaves but took property and the vote away from a majority of whites. The South was an occupied territory under foreign rule, and how that rule was abused is a constant source of fascination.
And finally, the story. 1000 pages of struggle, births, deaths, marriages, war, exploitation, murder, romance and desperation. Characters are true to themselves rather than the plot and Mitchell has a great understanding of people's motivations and actions which makes for a read that is constantly surprising and never cliched. An essential and thoroughly enjoyable read.