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.