I have a short list of books that I have read more than once. One of those books is Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind. I love so many things about the story and the characters. And like thousands of romantic readers before me, I have imagined what happened after Rhett slammed the door of the Butler Atlanta home. In my heart, I’ve always known that the two were reunited and that Rhett was able to love away that stubborn, selfish streak in Scarlett’s heart.
A number of years ago, a publisher tried to give us a sequel — Scarlett by Alexandria Ripley. What a dud! It was contrary to everything that made Scarlett and Rhett, Scarlett and Rhett. Whatever you do, skip this attempt. And it is sad, too, because Ripley has written at least one wonderful Civil War novel: Charleston.
Now comes Rhett Butler’s People by Donald McCaig. I bought the book with some trepidation and half expected to be bitterly disappointed once again. Well, guess what? I wasn’t disappointed. I loved it. I loved learning more about Rhett’s past, what made him who he was. I loved all of the new characters I met and I loved getting to know other characters who had such small parts in the original. McCaig didn’t try a major makeover of our dashing leads. I even think Margaret Mitchell would be pleased with this novel.
If you’re a fan of Gone With the Wind, I think you’ll like this book, too. And if you, like me, always imagined a more romantic ending to Rhett and Scarlett’s story, you’ll find it here.