- I misread the bit about Prissy and Ashley. He didn’t have an affair with her, he had one with her brother. Homosexuality, miscegenation, murder… this book has it all.
- Scarlett was black. Yeah, that one threw me for a loop too. It all came to light in a series of letters between Mrs. O’Hara and her childhood sweetheart/cousin, Philipe. They wanted to get married, but her mother wouldn’t allow it. It turns out that Scarlett’s great-great-grandmother was “a Negresse”, and the family was terrified that if the two of them got together they’d have a dark child. The phrase “pour a little more milk into the coffee” was actually used. Philipe got killed anyway, and Mrs. O’Hara became, uh, Mrs. O’Hara. (I can’t remember her real name.) And she kept the whole thing secret.
- Well, not from Mammy. Apparently Mammy kept the letters and knew what happened. And when little Bonnie was born to Scarlett, I think she either started to get a little dark or else Mammy was worried that she was. Either way, Mammy would come into her room at night and scrub her with a lemon. Seriously. That’s why she was afraid of the dark. How dumb is that?
- Scarlett died. It was very anti-climactic. Do you need more proof that this woman can’t write than the fact that she killed off one of literature’s greatest female characters and I failed to care?
Seriously, here’s the whole book distilled into one paragraph: “My mother always preferred my half-sister to me, and I spent my whole life having huge issues because of it. To make up for it, I stole her husband and her house and her clothes. But wait, I guess I really did love my half-sister and my mom. I’m going to leave her husband and go bear a child for a black Congressman and then die of lupus.”
It adds nothing to the idea of the Old South that the original book perpetuates. I wanted to hear the voices of the people that made Scarlett’s extravagant childhood possible. Instead of telling the real story of slavery, though, this mean-spirited author merely re-wrote the story to make herself win. She ends up with fine clothes, living in a fine house, and sleeping with Rhett Butler. She becomes Scarlett. Big friggin’ deal. If she needed to write that to be able to sleep at night, good for her. It’s like, hate Scarlett if you must, but don’t hate her simply because you envy her. It makes for a very boring book.