I am the first to admit my tendency to being slightly over emotional (I can hear my step father guffaw with laughter into his coffee at the irony of this statement). I cry. A lot. When I like something, everyone will know about it. And I would like to think that if you happen to come across someone on the tube reading Margaret Mitchell’s only published book, that it may well be down to them having been force fed this book by yours truly.
I had recently begun working my way through the Top 100 BBC Reads when I was at my friend Kim’s house, just before Christmas 2009. Her parents, Colin and Lesley are both avid readers like myself, and when, scanning their bookshelves I asked for a recommendation, Lesley handed me Gone With The Wind. It was a thick brick of a book – over a thousand pages, and I have to admit I wasn’t thrilled at the prospect of tackling such a long book over the festive period.
How wrong I was. And how I shall ever be indebted to Lesley for lending it to me. It was perhaps a hundred or so pages into Gone With The Wind that I really fell for this epic tale; and from then on in, I never wanted it to end.
Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler, the hero and heroine of the book are so full of life and their complex relationship is without question the single favourite I have ever come across in the many hundreds of books I have read. My boyfriend at the time paled in comparison to Rhett Butler, whose wit and charm had me, quite literally, swooning.
And alongside this epic romance is a very real war and an intense plot that deals with death, racial discrimination, and triumph over adversity. Gone With The Wind literally took my breath away (no pun intended) and it is, without question, my very favourite book of all time.
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