30 Day Book Challenge: Day 5

This post comes after a long break in writing because I’ve been travelling, working and organising various things and events. I’ll update you about that soon, but here’s another 30 Day Book Challenge.

Gone_with_the_WindDay 5: A Book That Reminds You of Someone

I grew up with Gone With the Wind lurking in the shadows of my life: the film would come on television and remain on, the book sat well-read on our library shelf, the Christmas ornaments hung on our tree. Without a doubt, this book belongs to my mom. She loves it and if I were to hazard a guess, I’d say she’s read it nearer to 100 times starting from the age of 12 or so.

Margaret Mitchell won the Pultizer Prize for Gone with the Wind in 1937, one year after it’s publication.  This is classic romance novel that comes in at more than 1000 pages.  

The novel portrays the antebellum period before the American Civil War and the transition from slaveholders and plantations to emancipation and the destruction of the US ‘South’ during and after the war. Despite the often controversial background and stereotyping of slavery in the book (and the film), this novel really is about the romance over the politics. One of the reigning themes brought into the novel is its description of the atrocities of war and the destruction it brings on all those caught in its path.

I saw the film before I read the book, although I read the book when I was 13 and probably to my mom’s chagrin, that’s the only time I’ve read it. It is a great book. I enjoyed reading it. I think the characterisations are deftly handled and Scarlett O’Hara, love her or hate her, is one strong woman (in a variety of ways!). This is the type of book that lives on by reputation.

According to a 2008 Harris Poll in the US, this is the second favourite American book, just behind the Bible. It’s been listed on numerous ‘best-of’ lists and has sold more than 30-million copies.

The film did so well when it was released all the way back in 1939 and scenes from it have been replicated in other films (think Titanic) and comedy sketches that it will never go away. Despite its fame, it will always simply be a part of my mom – not my favourite book or my favourite story, but her’s – and it’s good to have the memories of that and this book’s presence in my childhood.

With that, I give you this classic sketch by Carol Burnett (it’s worth a watch if you know anything about Gone With the Wind!):

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