Book Reviews

Review: Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley

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The timeless tale continues… The most popular and beloved American historical novel ever written, Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind is unparalleled in its portrayal of men and women at once larger than life but as real as ourselves. Now bestselling writer Alexandra Ripley brings us back to Tara and reintroduces us to the characters we remember so well: Rhett, Ashley, Mammy, Suellen, Aunt Pittypat, and, of course, Scarlett.

As the classic story, first told over half a century ago, moves forward, the greatest love affair in all fiction is reignited; amidst heartbreak and joy, the endless, consuming passion between Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler reaches its startling culmination. Rich with surprises at every turn and new emotional, breathtaking adventures, Scarlett satisfies our longing to reenter the world of Gone With the Wind, and like its predecessor, Scarlett will find an eternal place in our hearts.


It was a lot of fun reading this one again. I first read it back when it was new, so more than enough time had passed for me to forget a lot of the story, and it was as if I was reading it for the first time all over again. Having read Charleston and On Leaving Charleston, it was fun that Ripley brought in characters from those novels (Sally Brewton, Julia Ashley, etc.) into this one. (Made me want to read those novels all over again, too!)

But… as much as I love the book… there were many instances were Rhett and Scarlett said or did things that felt completely out of character. Maybe it’s been too long since I read Gone with the Wind, and I’m basing too much of my memory about them on the movie. (That’s entirely possible, as it’s been many years since I last read the novel.) Still, there were times when things just felt wrong… such as Rhett being so obsessed with reviving the flower gardens at Dunmore Landing. Or Scarlett being completely oblivious to how the Ballyhara people felt about Cat. Granted, she was self-centered, but I doubt she wouldn’t have the slightest recognition that something was a bit off in how they regarded/treated Cat… not as important as she was to Scarlett.

But the things that bothered me were all minor annoyances, most easily overlooked. It was very enjoyable to read, and it never failed to keep me interested all the way through. I do wish the story hadn’t ended practically as soon as Rhett and Scarlett reunited, but I suppose it was fitting, since Gone with the Wind ended with Rhett leaving.

Author: Alexandra Ripley

Title: Scarlett

Series: Gone with the Wind #2

Published: September 1991 by Warner Books

Rating: ★★★

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This review was originally posted on Goodreads on August 11, 2010.

 

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