Indomitable Scarlett

After hearing so much about her, I have finally met Scarlett O’Hara:

Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm… But for all the modesty of her spreading skirts, the demureness of hair netted smoothly into a chignon and the quietness of small white hands folded in her lap, her true self was poorly concealed. The green eyes in the carefully sweet face were turbulent, willful, lusty with life, distinctly at variance with her decorous demeanor. Her manners had been imposed upon her by her mother’s gentle admonitions and the sterner discipline of her mammy; her eyes were her own.

And I love her. She’s so rebellious and strong-willed, exactly the kind of thing I was talking about in my last post! And her strength, instead of being sacrificed to pleasing others and being nice, is allowed to come out in full force, helping her to survive the Civil War. She’s a wonderful anti-heroine, passionate, angry, determined, selfish, vain, flirtatious, vivacious and full of life. She refuses to be weak and passive.

I’ve avoided reading Gone With the Wind until now because as a Canadian, I’m not the biggest American history fan. Living in the quieter, politer northern country, I tend to quietly look down on American aggressiveness. But both of our countries were settled by hard working, hard living pioneers and that indomitable nature, ‘that cannot be subdued or overcome’ (dictionary definition), is in me too. My mother’s father’s father was from Prussia, a cavalry officer who went west. (To Saskatchewan, the prairie province I am heading back to as well.) It’s reminding me too of the excitement I used to feel reading a series of American historical fiction as a teenager, all the strong-willed adventure and romance. I used to love reading about pioneers going west in their covered wagons (cowgirl was a possible career option when I was a kid) and anyone on brave adventures, maybe it’s time to read more books like that again.

And today our move is finally starting as we pack up a truck. I’ve already packed 30 boxes of books (plus of course we had to keep several piles out for ourselves, since we’re moving most of our stuff out to Regina now with the help of my husband’s parents and then coming back to my parent’s place for my brother’s wedding) and they are quite heavy and my back is rather sore. And there are so many other odds and ends to pack as well. I’m glad to be reading a book about a strong woman right now, as I need the encouragement to be strong myself! Gone With the Wind is also just a great summer read, melodramatic at points but so much fun.

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10 thoughts on “Indomitable Scarlett

  1. jillianreadsbooks2 says:

    Yay!! I'm excited that you love this book. It's my absolute favorite. 🙂 Good luck with the move! That's happening for me too, in about 20 days.

  2. thecaptivereader says:

    Sagas make great summer reads and Gone with the Wind is surely one of the greatest sagas about! I'm so glad you are enjoying it. The indomitable Scarlett is one of the finest anti-heroines ever created. Good luck with the move!

  3. Allie says:

    This is such a great book. I was really skeptical of it for a long time (I thought it would be silly), but I ended up loving it.

    Don't you find it funny how Mexico, the U.S., and Canada were all settled at the same time and all ended up so different? crazy!

  4. Carolyn says:

    Jillian, I was thinking of you as I started to read this. I must admit, I didn't know why you liked it so much before, now I do.

    Thanks, Claire. Yes, bring on the sagas! I read Anna Karenina in six days one summer, I got caught up in all the crazy melodrama of Anna, her lover and her husband. (The good people out farming and hunting in the countryside weren't nearly as interesting though.)

    Allie, nice to see you here! I'm glad I finally tried Gone With the Wind, after assuming it would be silly too. I used to see parts of the movie on tv when I was a kid and it seemed endless and ridiculous, I didn't understand it at all.

    Well Canada was partly settled by people more patriotic to Britain, who didn't want to rebel against them like the US, and then there's also the French settlers in Quebec too and everyone had to learn to get along as best they could, luckily we didn't have a Civil War too!

  5. litlove says:

    How you encourage me! I've been meaning to read Gone With The Wind for the longest time and never quite getting to it. Now I really must book it into the next couple of months.

  6. Hannah says:

    I've avoided reading Gone with the Wind because I was so annoyed by Scarlett O'Hara as a heroine in the movie. Now that I am older and (possibly) wiser, I think I admire her strong will a little bit more. I'm sure it would be more fun to read about than watch.

  7. Thrifty Household says:

    I too am keen to hear your final thoughts on the book. Having seen the film but not read the book I'm keen to hear how different/similar they are.

    Hope all goes well with the move- a saga is probably the perfect thing to take your mind off all the related stresses of moving!

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