I finished this book a few months ago and this post has been sitting in my draft section for finishing touches. ;)
I finished one of the best books a little over an hour ago, Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. Scarlett O'Hara, Rhett Butler, Melanie Hamilton, Ashley Wilkes, Ellen and Gerald O'Hara, Mamie, Aunt Pittypat and all the other characters that are depicted in the classic American story set in the time of the Civil War. Although these characters had had many faults the story is timeless and the characters are very real. This was the longest book I ever read, 1,448 pages, I started in September and finished this evening.
I kind of have a love-hate relationship with Scarlett, she was dreadfully wrong but the one admirable quality was gumption. She had such a love for her land, Georgia, and her home, Tara.
The thing I like most about Gone With the Wind: I loved learning about the Civil War, the Reconstruction that terrorized the people, and the love for the South. I loved learning about the etiquette and the way of the times. For instance, a relatives would come for a Christmas visit and stay until July!
The thing that I most disliked about it: I disliked the relationship between Scarlett and Ashley.
My favorite character: Melanie. In the movie she was seemed a bit of a "Miss Goody-two-shoes" but I loved her in the book. She was such a gentle, Christian lady. "A very great lady" as Rhett called her. He also observed, "She never had any strength, she was all heart." She loved her family and her home, never saw a fault in anyone even if it was under her nose. She devotedly loved Scarlett, she loved and cared for anyone in her pathway.
My least favorite character: Ashley Wilkes. He was weak, and he never stood up to Scarlett
Scarlett O'Hara: Head-strong, selfish, beautiful, and full of iron will. She wouldn't let anything keep her down.
Rhett Butler: Charming, cynical, and full of common sense.
Ashley Wilkes: A gentleman of the old class, full of honor and always wishing for the old days before the war. He didn't know how to live after the war, he was weak.
Melanie Hamilton Wilkes: Kind, gentle, always thinking the best of everybody. She was a much loved lady in Atlanta. Weak of body but strong of spirit.
Mammy: The great main-stay of Scarlett and the household of Tara. A devoted and much treasured friend. She had taken care of Ellen and had taken care of Scarlett since the day of her birth.
Gerald O'Hara: Fiery and lovable and with an Irish temper, he loved horses and he loved Ellen.
Ellen O'Hara: The mother of Scarlett and her sisters Suellen and Careen. A true southern lady.
I love the movie, it's one of my favorites, but the book is better. The book has inappropriate parts but because I know the story so well I was able to skip over those sections so if you read it that's what I would recommend. Otherwise, it's a great, great story.