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Life, loss and love in the Civil War

Gone with the Wind - Pat Conroy, Margaret Mitchell

I never expected to be as drawn to this book as I was - once I started it I had a lot of trouble putting it down again, despite its size! This story of life, loss and love during the American Civil War was absolutely compelling reading, and I guess you could say I become a little obsessed with it! The heroine, Scarlett O'Hara, was flawed and far from perfect, but I think that is one of the reasons why I liked her. Her character development from spoilt rich girl to hardworking self made woman is almost inspiring; she refused to be defeated. Although her personality because hardened and cold, she did what she had to do so that she and her family would survive. I understand that. However, it is a shame that she did not realise the love that surrounded her and only coveted what she could not have: Ashley Wilkes, another woman's husband. Her epiphany that she never really loved him and how incompatible they were came far too late, and only came about with Melanie's death. I wish she could have seen it before she had made such a mess of her life with Rhett!

Rhett was such a fascinating character - also flawed, also stubborn and headstrong like Scarlett. He was exactly what she needed, not just his money, but HIM. However, if he had stopped being so damn foolish he would have shown Scarlett that he loved her, rather than acting the way that he did! I was so disappointed with both of their choices and decisions that led to their parting, but at the same time it made sense for it to end that way. I only wish I knew what happened next...