Ashley Leader's Reviews > Scarlett

Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley
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's review
Jun 26, 2011

did not like it
bookshelves: romance-dont-judge-me, own, reviewed

The ending of Gone with the Wind left me stunned. I wasn't really sure how to interpret the rather ambiguous ending, but I was depressed, sobbing. I wanted, so badly, for there to be more to the story. Enter Scarlett.

After reading this, I think that Margaret Mitchell had a good reason for ending it like she did. And it shouldn't be messed with.

I am not one of those "purist" people who categorically dismiss all sequels that are not written by the original author. I have enjoyed one or two Pride & Prejudice sequels. That said, this book was awful. It is a trashy travesty of a novel that should be ashamed to even have the words "Gone with the Wind" on its cover.

If GWW was a romance novel, this would be it. It has the trademark bad writing (compared to Mitchell's), torrid sex, flat secondary characters, intolerable heroine/hero, and illogical plot. With a little good old-fashioned magic thrown in. (Yes, magic.)

The worst thing, to me, was that Scarlett lost whatever made her Scarlett. That indefinable quality that made her one of the most famous characters ever is gone. Left only were her selfishness and manipulativeness, and a single-minded goal of getting Rhett back. And personally, I don't think that she would have been able to get him back.

As another reviewer said, I think I would have enjoyed this if it wasn't presented as a sequel to GWW. Change the names, etc., and it could have been three stars. But I hated reading about my beloved characters doing such uncharacteristic things.

I'll let others tell you about the plot. Just, whatever you do, don't read this book. Let Gone with the Wind stay untarnished in your mind.

EDIT: Okay, I don't see anyone else talking about the plot. So I'll give a quick synopsis:

The book begins at Melanie's funeral, where Scarlett makes a scene by telling Ashley to quit crying, "Mell--ee!" over Melanie's grave. She then returns to Tara, where, depressed and lonely now that Rhett is gone, Scarlett goes on an alcohol binge for a while. Then she snaps out of it, visits her aunts, and decides to return to her father's homeland, Ireland. This way, Alexandra Ripley effectively cuts out all of the best characters. Somewhere along the way she almost takes a lover and gets Rhett to sleep with her, resulting in a baby. And you all know how it's going to end... happily ever after (sorry if I spoiled it, but you must have guessed). The happy ending was no consolation to me, as it made zero sense. So I say again, let GWW stay untarnished in your mind.
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