Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Gone With the Wind Sequel

I've just finished reading Rhett Butler's People by Donald McCaig (he was chosen by the Margaret Mitchell Estate to write this authorized novel), and it was great! I've had it on my radar since it was published in 2007, and have gotten around to reading it just now because it's on my book club's 2010 reading list. I plowed right through it over the weekend while my husband did some handyman work (more about that project coming soon!). It's 500 pages, half the length of Gone With the Wind. I haven't read that novel in nearly 20 years, but I've seen the movie about a trillion times (for a recap of seeing the movie last year at Atlanta's Fox Theatre, click here). Time for me to reread the novel? Maybe so.

Rhett Butler's People is told, obviously enough, from Rhett's perspective. We learn about his childhood in Charleston, SC, and his read on Scarlett from their first meeting forward. Some characters we met in passing in Gone With the Wind have a major role in this one, like Belle Watling. We get the full story throughout the book of all the ways the Butlers and Watlings are connected from their years together in Charleston. We also get a fuller picture of Melanie Hamilton Wilkes in this book.

It won't surprise you that I highly recommend this book. I'm fairly certain I'm the first in my book club to get to this one; I won't be able to talk with them about it until we've all read it. It will be all I can do to not ruin the surprises for them.

1 comment:

  1. I realize I'm a little behind the times with your blog, but a couple of the posts I've read are practically forcing me to comment! I am a huge Gone With the Wind junkie! I've read the book twice, and watched the movie after finishing the book each time. I didn't know the library had an exhibit about her, but I will definitely check it out now! In March my husband and I went to the Margaret Mitchell House, where she lived while writing most of Gone With the Wind. It was pretty fun to see. One cool additional thing they had there was the actual painting of Scarlett from the movie that Rhett hurls his tumbler at in rage. Maybe you've already been there, but if you haven't, you should.

    After I read Gone With the Wind the first time, I was so desperate to get more of the story that I read a "sequel" called Scarlett, written by someone else. I disliked it so much that I swore to never again read a sequel written by someone other than the original author. That's why I've avoided reading Rhett Butler's People. But if you really found it interesting, maybe I'll give it a try. I just worry that the whole time I'm reading it I'll be thinking, "Imagine how much more perfect this would be if Mitchell had written it!"