Book Review: Gone With The Wind

Gone With The Wind
By Margaret Mitchell

My Edition:
Paperback, 984 pages
2014, Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 978447264538

I can’t even blurb this book – but I assume most of you know the general plot. If not, Google will give you a better synopsis than I will because I’m too overwhelmed.

I seriously have no idea where to even begin with this review. This book gave me so many feels and had so many surprising events that it was a total emotional rollercoaster. I have watched the film, but it was back when I was in grade school so all I recall is Gable’s “don’t give a damn” line and Scarlett’s curtain dress. What I really remember is the hilarious Carol Burnett Went With The Wind’ sketch. I do plan to watch the movie sometime soon though.

After two months of reading (not daily though) and owning three different editions, I feel like I need another two months to process my thoughts. GWTW has to be the most epic book I’ve ever read or at least tied with the ASOIAF series, and not only was it physically heavy, but emotionally heavy as well. Woof!

Short and sweet: I absolutely loved it. 5/5 stars. There were a few bits that bored me, like the details of the battles (in this, I’m like Scarlett) and some of the family history. But Scarlett and Rhett are fabulously flawed characters and I wanted to kick the shit out of both of them and also desperately hoped they both got everything they ever wanted. The subject matter of the book is not always easy to read and it’s undeniably racist – but I like to think that Mitchell was not so much intentionally being racist as she was portraying some ideas that might have been felt by many southerners during the Civil War. It’s a tricky subject though and of course, I don’t pretend to know her motives, nor do I want to get into a debate about them. Regardless, the book is packed full of emotion and passion and, excluding the way the slaves were portrayed and treated, I think it’s fabulously written. I’m glad some of the lovely ladies I follow on Instagram did a read-along so I was finally motivated to read this.

Do I even want to try to write a long version? Going in, I had no idea what was in store for me in terms of plot or character development. I’m hesitant to discuss too much of the plot, lest I give anything away for those of you who, like Past Millie, still haven’t read this book.

In lieu of anything coherent, I’ll leave you with some of the notes I made on my phone that don’t contain major plot points:

Family heritage infodump – boring, frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn
The BBQ, first big event – hark, a Rhett!
This book is racist
Good chemistry w/Rhett at confederate ball – Scarlett is a brat who made her own bed, yet I’m also rooting for her
Forget baby Wade exists until he interrupts scenes – kid is pathetic though not his fault
Ugh so racist
Scarlett is ruthless and cunning, yet ignorant and childish. She’s strong and fabulous and a total bitch
Her relationship with Rhett is fabulously annoying
She realizes that a woman can be strong and smart and do a man’s work – she’d been doing it unknowingly because she had to, but of course society doesn’t like that, her success seems to equal male failure and so those around her despise her. She’s supposed to quietly starve and wait for a man to save her
The stupid way they try to hide pregnancy, like, jfc, really?
She finally feels remorse…wait, nope
Will she and Rhett ever be together? Yeeep
Why did he marry her? Does he truly love her? He’s verbally/mentally abusive or just the biggest douchebag ever?
I just want Scarlett to learn a damn lesson!
This book is brutal
Scarlett is a bitch and cold hearted and money hungry, yet determined and hard working and a fighter, reputation be damned. Rhett is a cad and a prick and emotionally abusive but smart and proud that Scarlett is her own woman. They could have been happy if they’d let each other or stopped to understand each other even a little. I wanted them to get what’s coming to them, but hated it when it happened
They’re charming and infuriating and omg wtf was that ending?
This is not a love story! Lies!
Want to toss of cliff in the best way

If you’ve read GWTW, let’s chat!

Here are some bonus pictures of my editions – I have a crumbling old paperback (1970 Pocket Books) and a nice vintage copy (1955 Macmillan) that I started reading, but it was too musty and delicate for me to keep using. Therefore I had to buy a new Macmillan copy with Vivien Leigh’s gorgeous mug.

On Feels

After recently completing two books that gave me (very different) feels – Gone With The Wind and Armstrong & Charlie – I realized it’d been a while since a book truly moved me.

Some of you might be asking, what the fuck are feels?

-Puts on glasses and a tweed jacket- Well, class, “feels” is modern slang short for feelings. For example, if a book “gives you feels” or even “gives you all the feels”, it was a very emotional experience that is otherwise hard to describe. Now, I don’t classify anger at terrible writing as a feel, but some others may do so. Feels are open to interpretation, but for me, they encompass sadness and love and excitement and nostalgia and emotions along those veins. A book that gives me feels moves me in the best way (unlike books that move me to chuck them out my front door -cough-EdgeOfReason-cough-).

-Takes off glasses and tweed jacket- So, feels!

After finishing  Armstrong and Charlie and putting a cork in my waterworks, and finishing Gone With The Wind and wanting to hurl it off a cliff in the best way (yes, you can also want to throw around a book in a positive way, I’ve decided), I was reveling in all the feels I was feeling. I’ve read some excellent books this year (and I still want to scream in your face about how fantastic Warbreaker is) but nothing really hurt my heart or made me want to cry until the aforementioned books came into my life.

I missed having feels and it was great to be experiencing them once more. But I also realized, if most of the books I read treated me this way, I’d be fucking exhausted. I’d probably be an emotional wreck and a terror (or more of a terror, if you ask Sweetbeeps) to deal with and everyone around me would be like, Millie, get a friggen grip!

So like most things in life, there needs to be a balance. I’m glad that some books I read are mediocre, or some are awesome but not deeply emotional so that when I come across a book that gives me all the feels I can wallow in them without destroying my psyche.

I’ll wrap this up with an utterly random of some other books I’ve read that gave me feels: The Mists of Avalon, The Love Song of Queenie Hennessy (still can’t think about the ending without tearing up), Liesl and Po, Beastkeeper, Alias Hook, Pax, True Grit, The Road, Island of the Blue Dolphins, A Monster Calls.

Do you tend to get the feels often? Do you agree with any of my recommendations? I’d love to hear what books give you feels so I can read them and feel more feels.