For a book with a weather element in the title in the 2018 Reading Challenge, I chose to read Gone With the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell. This was a re-read, but it’s been a really long time since I read this book. I could remember some elements of the story, but not as much as I would have thought. I also think the added perspective of age helped me appreciate this book even more.
This book is an American classic with good reason. It is a compelling look at a less than auspicious time in American history. I think that Mitchell’s decision to tell this story through the eyes of an unsympathetic character made the historical bits all the more real. Scarlett O’Hara is selfish and spoiled, but as such, she has no interest in either side of the war. Her interest is only herself, making her a more objective witness to the events taking place around her.
This is the story of Scarlett O’Hara, a southern belle in the pre-Civil War state of Georgia. The book is huge, as it takes place over the course of the entire war and well into the post war Reconstruction. It is the story of Rhett Butler, a scoundrel and war profiteer who is nonetheless redeemable despite his flaws.
Gone With the Wind is called a love story, and it is that. But it is so much more. It is the story of perseverance and endurance. Of friendship and heroic acts. It’s a story of pride in the midst of defeat. And it’s also a commentary on war and its devastating effects on all those it touches.
This is a great book, well-written in spite of its wordiness. I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in American history, and the Civil War in particular. But beyond that, it’s just a really great story.