When I was in junior high school I read Gone with the Wind 3 times. Granted, the last time I was speed reading to see how fast I could get through the 1000+ pages, but it certainly was one of my favorite books. I know I saw the movie at least twice on the big screen. Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable are firmly entrenched in my mind as Scarlett and Rhett.
Now, Donald McCaig has written Rhett Butler’s People, Gone with the Wind from Rhett’s point of view. He gives us the back story for the Butlers of South Carolina, Rhett’s relationship with Belle Watling and much more. The book goes beyond the last chapter of GWTW much to my delight!
McCaig was chosen by the Margaret Mitchell estate to write Rhett Butler’s People and they chose well. He deals with the Reconstruction more even-handedly than Mitchell did. The effects of the war and slavery are devastating, though the burning of Atlanta does not get as much attention. I did wonder about what other books deal with the aftermath of war. Certainly the sections of Memoirs of a Geisha that showed life at the end of WWII were particularly moving.
For all Gone with the Wind devotees, I hope you will find this book as rewarding as I did.