I started reading this book the week of Thanksgiving, and now, 3 months later, I finally finished it!
Okay, the book was a whopping 1037 pages long(!) and I had a baby in the middle of reading it, so I guess I have some excuses. I also read another book (very quick read) during it because of library hold queues.
Yes, I am a terrible excuse for a Southern gal because not only had I never read Gone With the Wind, I also have never seen the movie! The latter will be remedied soon, though, thanks again to library holds. I also might make a trek to the Margaret Mitchell House next time I head home to Atlanta.
I actually really loved this book up until the last two chapters. Then it was just depressing and kinda left me hanging. The beginning of the book just made me kinda giddy though, because I really identified with Scarlett as a teenager. I also thought she was hilarious. As the book progressed, though, I didn't like her as much. It actually kept reminding me of my writing prompt from the AP Lit test I took 10 years ago about a "morally ambiguous" character. (I wrote about Moll Flanders and passed the test, for the record.) I suppose you also could write on that same prompt about Rhett Butler. However, I learned a lot about the economics of war and the effects of war on the women and the losing side. I'll admit that I usually zoned out in history class when teachers droned on about battles, but this put a face to the Civil War for me.
One thing I definitely liked about this book is its depiction of Atlanta at its founding, although many of the characteristics mentioned still apply today. The red clay dirt is definitely the stuff I played in as a child (don't really miss it), and then there was this passage: "Why was the place so different from other Georgia towns? Why did it grow so fast? After all, they thought, it had nothing whatever to recommend it--only its railroads and a bunch of mighty pushy people." (p. 142) Change "railroads" to "Coca-Cola" and you pretty much have a good description of the Atlanta I know.
Have you ever read Gone With the Wind? Or seen the movie? And did you like it?