Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on May 12, 2020
Before embarking on "Scarlett," her authorized sequel to GWTW, author Alexandra Ripley read the original six times, took extensive notes, and rewrote pages of Mitchell's opus to get a feel for her rhythm. Say what you want about Ripley's efforts, at least she didn't make absurd mistakes like changing Ashley's oft-mentioned gray eyes to brown (then back to gray) or inserting previously unknown meetings between Rhett and Scarlett that would make subsequent scenes in the original nonsensical.

The Rhett of this book may be somewhat interesting, but the Scarlett is a shell of the woman Mitchell depicted. That might be forgiven, considering this is the story from Rhett's point of view. But apparently while Mitchell was depicting her leading man as taut with tension, fists balled in his pockets, aching with the impotence of the moment, most of the time he was just thinking "meh."

Most ridiculous is the decision to destroy the Melanie who couldn't conceive of dishonor in anyone she loved and transform her into a worldly woman who was in on the deceit, who knew Scarlett didn't give a rap about Charles and knew Ashley lusted for Scarlett. No matter ... Melanie coped by going on shopping sprees with Belle Watling. Good grief.

I'd offer more about the bizarre relationships that develop between Belle, Melanie, and Scarlett, but don't want to give away the ending for anyone else planning to read this comic re-imagining of the 19th-century Southern class system. The only people who could possibly give "Rhett Butler's People" five stars clearly never read "Gone With the Wind." I'm giving it two only as a nod to the author's willingness to portray the Klan as an evil force rather than benevolent neighborhood watch.
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