While Gone With The Wind is certainly one of my all time favorite novels, in my quest to get to know character Scarlett O’Hara better, I purchased the sequel written by Alexandria Ripley — appropriately named Scarlett.
When the story opens, Scarlett is at the funeral of her best friend Melanie Wilkes. Her life is shattered. Rhett has left her and her one and only friend has died. In an ironic twist of events, Ashley Wilkes — the man who Scarlett once obsessed over and the late Melanie Wilkes’ now widowed husband, is once again available. Even more ironic is that Scarlett has realized that she only wanted Ashley because she could not have him. She realizes (albeit too late) that Rhett was the man she was meant to be with. The Yin to her Yang. In typical Scarlett fashion she resolves to do everything in her power to win him back.
In this novel, we get to follow Scarlett O’Hara on all of her adventures, no matter where they take her. As always, she has a deep longing to get back to Tara and rebuild. However, fate takes her in very different directions. She learns more about her mother and father and is introduced to relatives on both sides. She learns why her father named their beloved plantation “Tara” and reconnects with her Irish heritage.
This is truly a coming of age tale. While Scarlett has been a grown woman for some time, she never fully embraced the “woman” and always held on to the part of the “girl”. In “Scarlett”, we get to see her come into her own and finally grow up.
I loved Gone With The Wind but the sequel novel Scarlett will always have a special place in my heart as I have read this novel so many times I have lost count.