Rhett Butlers People by Donald McCaig
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I enjoyed Rhett Butler's People so much that I was disappointed when it ended. The author was commissioned by the estate of Margaret Mitchell to write this "parallel sequel" to Gone With The Wind, and he has kept faithful to her style and to the story and details of Mitchell's original classic. This gives an account of Rhett's life prior to meeting Scarlett and describes the lives of his friends and family. In doing so, it gives a well-researched look into life in Charleston Atlanta just prior to and during the civil war.
Certainly, there are a million possibilities for his story, but I enjoyed this take. I really enjoyed Gone With the Wind, but Rhett was my favorite character and there were so many unanswered questions about him. They are answered in this fleshed out sequel/addition, which helps the reader to understand and appreciate his character all the more.
I think the author did a wonderful job of tying the stories together and maintaining the characters and setting. He had to satisfy two audiences - Margaret Mitchell fans and Civil War buffs. That he was able to offer such a satisfying read, while tying in small tidbits from the original story (e.g. how Scarlett came to be in possession of the yellow scarf she gave to Ashley is particularly clever), is impressive indeed.
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