What a massive and most enjoyable book! Mitchell, in Scarlett O’ Hara and Rhett Butler, has created characters that are simultaneously larger than life and absolutely believable and genuine. Though O’ Hara is ruthless, spoilt and egotistic, she at once draws the reader’s interest and through her escapades, sufferings, and her explosive character, keeps the reader fully engaged. I kept turning the pages eagerly to see what she would get up to next. And she never failed to amaze me with the way she dealt with matters. Her relationship with Butler is explosive, full of twists and turns, and leaves the reader always wondering what will come next and on unsteady ground. Mitchell is anything but predictable.
Thanks to ‘Gone with the Wind’, I learned about the American civil war and ‘lived’ through the futility of it. Now, I confess I know more than I ever did before about the origins of the two ruling parties in the States: Republicans and Democrats. Republicans originated in the north and their adversaries in the south. Not knowing a lot about USA history, I find myself wondering how all this has changed over the years, for surely the two parties are spread throughout the States and have come to represent something different in modern times. Perhaps I will come across a new novel which will entertain me and simultaneously shed light on the development of these political parties.
I confess that I found the characters in this novel better developed, more fleshed out than in any book I have read before, except, perhaps, Dickens. This work is truly a master piece and I give it a full star rating without any hesitation.