Scarlett: Sequel to Gone With the Wind

Gone With the Wind was good. Alexandra Ripley’s sequel, Scarlett, was incroyable. Amazing. Spectacular. Quite possibly the greatest non-fantasy novel I’ve ever read.

Gone With the Wind took me six months to read. Scarlett took me around three weeks, which is still a long time for me to read 800 pages, but still. Ripley left out the unimportant, boring parts, and there wasn’t three hundred pages of near-starvation.

What was really surprising was how interesting it was when Rhett was gone. If you read my review on Gone With the Wind, you know how bored I was when everyone’s favorite handsome blockade runner was gone. Not the case with Scarlett.

Ripley was true to Scarlett’s spirit and to Rhett’s. She added many new characters, each just as memorable as Mitchell’s.

And Ireland… A ton of the book takes place there, and although I’d never had that much of an interest in going there before this novel, Ripley has made me love it. She described it so vividly it was like going there.

And the parties…. I’ve got a thing for reading about high-society. Ripley transported me to the finest house parties in Dublin.

Seriously, you’ve got to read this book. It’s romantic, tense, and tout à fait génial.

-Clara Amelie Bennet

Scarlett

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The Once and Future King

The Once and Future King, and Arthurian novel by T.H. White, was absolutely amazing. It was one I read when I got bored with Gone With the Wind (for more on that, click here).

It conveyed the story of King Arthur in a way I’d been longing to read- like a novel, not a series of short stories all smashed together. While reading it, I felt like I was in Camelot, right there with Arthur, Lancelot, and Guinevere. White didn’t tell of the forbidden love between Lancelot and Guinevere, he showed it. He made me feel Elaine’s love for Lancelot du Lac and her hate for Guinevere. White’s novel draws you in and won’t let you go, not even when the book ends. It’s one to keep and read a lot more than once or twice.

This is the fantasy classic for any King Arthur fan. If you haven’t read a single King Arthur book, start with this one. It’s the best retelling I’ve ever read, and I’ve loved the story since I was seven years old.

-Clara

Gone With the Wind

I’m finally finished! Margaret Mitchell’s Southern romance novel, Gone With the Wind, took me around six months to read (I got bored a lot and turned to other books on a regular basis). I laughed and cried and smiled and, well, yelled at people, Scarlett O’Hara in particular.

Here’s a bit about the main characters:

Scarlett O’Hara, daughter of Irishman Gerald O’Hara and his wife, Ellen: Free spirited and thinks all men to be fools. In love with Ashley Wilkes. Heroine and villain.

Captain Rhett Butler, a Charlestonian: Doesn’t care what people think of him. His father kicked him out when he was young and he has the worst reputation in the South. In love with Scarlett. Hero.

Melanie Wilkes, Wife of Ashley: Sweet, kind, and trusting. Can’t stand it when people talk bad about people she loves. In love with Ashley.

Ashley Wilkes, Husband of Melanie: Raised for a life of reading and parties, not recovering from a devastating war. He doesn’t really know who he loves until the end of the book.

Plot- There’ll be *spoilers*:

Gone With the Wind begins with a barbecue at Twelve Oaks, the Wilkes’ plantation. Scarlett, who has just discovered her love for Ashley and the news of his upcoming marriage to Melanie, confesses her love and begs him to marry her, but he will not. Rhett Butler witnesses the scene between them and falls in love with Scarlett, but he’s “not a marrying man”.

The Civil War begins and Scarlett marries Charles Hamilton to make Ashley jealous. Charles dies and Scarlett has his baby, Wade Hampton. As a widow, she goes to Atlanta to stay with her Aunt Pittypat. And who shows up at the fundraising bazaar? None other than Rhett Butler, still in love with Scarlett.

Later, Melanie nearly dies having Ashley’s baby, and Rhett gets them safely out of Atlanta when the Yankees attack. He tells Scarlett that he’s going to join the army and kisses her.

Tara, the O’Hara plantation, is in ruins, and Scarlett vows never to be hungry again. A few hundred pages pass until Rhett Butler returns when Scarlett needs money to pay taxes on Tara.

But Rhett is a prisoner and refuses to give her the money, so Scarlett marries Frank Kennedy. They have one child before Frank dies.

Rhett, who escaped hanging (thank goodness- he’s what kept me reading), realizes that unless he marries her, he’s never going to get Scarlett. So he proposes and she accepts.

Their relationship goes well for a bit, but Scarlett refuses to accept the love Rhett feels for her, and she doesn’t realize that her love for Ashley was just habit until it’s too late.

*No more spoilers*

My opinion:

I loved it and I hated it. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me bored out of my mind, and it made me so interested that I didn’t want to put it down.

It was amazing when Rhett was around, and boring when he was away. At 1037 pages, it was the longest book I’ve ever read, and I’m quite proud to say that I did read it.

The characters are timeless, the story one of the most famous love stories of all time, and it’s a book to be read again and again.

If you’re in the mood for something long that’s occasionally a bit dull, pick up Gone With the Wind. Oh, and if you’re particularly fond of tall, dark, handsome men that are almost always sarcastic, you definitely must get to know Rhett Butler.

Merci beaucoup!

-Clara