I love taking part in features and memes. It brings us book lovers and book bloggers a bit closer together, if only in our shared love of reading great books.
This week’s question is: “If you would read only one book in your whole life, which one would it be?”
Only one? One? Out of the hundreds if not thousands of novels I’ve read in my whole, entire life. One.
I’m going to cheat a little and say aside from the Bible. There is only one fiction novel that I can answer this week’s question with:
Set against the dramatic backdrop of the American Civil War, Margaret Mitchell’s epic love story is an unforgettable tale of love and loss, of a nation mortally divided and its people forever changed. At the heart of all this chaos is the story of beautiful, ruthless Scarlett O’Hara and the dashing soldier of fortune, Rhett Butler.
First published in 1936, Pulitzer Prize for Novel in 1937 and Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay in 1939.
This one really has it all. Political unrest. Family epic. Unrequited love. A really sorry excuse for a man in Ashley Wilkes, who while deeply in love with his wife, Melanie, could never get over his fascination with Scarlett O’Hara. And could never just man up and tell her that there was no future for them, that for him it would always be Melanie that he loved, the one woman who completed him.
Tara. While not a human character, Tara (the O’Hara plantation) was a vibrant main character throughout the book. Even now the musical theme for Tara from the movie is running through my mind.
And, Rhett Butler. A rogue, a rake if there ever was one. A man who did what he pleased, when he pleased no matter who it bothered or inconvenienced. A man who would love Scarlett through husband after husband, mad schemes, poor choices and finally have her as a wife, but never a companion. A man who would shower their daughter Bonnie, with all the love and affection he tried to give to Scarlett, but she was too infatuated with another man to ever see the love that was her’s for the taking.
And sex. Okay, it was the Civil War and written in 1936 – but really, we all knew what was going to happen when Rhett scooped Scarlett up on that staircase and carried her up to their room – and by Scarlett’s face, sitting up in bed the next morning. *wink* Oh, we knew.
I learned a lot from Gone with the Wind. But mostly how to never truly give up.
The ending lines from the movie will even now break my heart, as a woman finally realizes what she had and what she has lost. And a man who finally had enough and walked away to his own new life. Love hurts…and heals.
“I wish I could care what you do or where you go but I can’t… Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” ~Rhett Butler – as he walks away into the fog.
“I’ll think of it tomorrow, at Tara. I can stand it then. Tomorrow, I’ll think of some way to get him back. After all, tomorrow is another day.” ~ Scarlett O’Hara Butler – momentarily down, but with determination to get her man back because “tomorrow is another day”.
Yes, if I must pick just one novel – Gone with the Wind.