Christy's Reviews > Southern Daughter: The Life of Margaret Mitchell and the Making of Gone With the Wind

Southern Daughter by Darden Asbury Pyron
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Apr 03, 11

Read in April, 2011

I'm giving this 2 stars because of the subject, Margaret Mitchell. If I rated it based on the writing alone, I would not be as generous.

I enjoyed the glimpses of Margaret Mitchell's humor revealed by her correspondence quoted throughout the book. I was also fascinated to discover that she was, for all intents and purposes, either a hypochondriac or at least a victim of illnesses brought on by her nerves and possibly by guilt at being less than the woman she thought her mother wanted her to be. I did not, however, enjoy the book as a whole.

The author managed to suck all the joy and life out of telling the story of a humorous, lively woman. He irritates with over-intellectual dissections of stories written by the adolescent Mitchell and a more than passing fancy for leading to overuse of the word "insouciant". Credulity was strained to the breaking point when he proceeded with a four page analysis of the psychology behind a story that now only exists in a former secretary's vague recollection of plot points. I can't help but think that Margaret Mitchell herself would happily smack him for being so tiresome.
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