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Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley Review

Title: Scarlett

Author: Alexandra Ripley

First published January 1, 1991

832 pages, Paperback

ISBN: 9780446502375 (ISBN10: 0446502375)

Rating: 3.6


Alexandra Ripley’s Scarlett is a captivating sequel to Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind. This stunning novel takes us back to Tara and immerses us in the lives of the unforgettable characters we have grown to love, including Scarlett, Rhett, Ashley, Mammy, and Aunt Pittypat.

As the story unfolds, we witness the revival of the most passionate love affair in all of fiction, as Scarlett and Rhett’s consuming love for one another is reignited. Filled with unexpected twists and turns, Scarlett is a breathtaking adventure that will leave readers longing to reenter the captivating world of Gone With the Wind.

This novel is a true tribute to the spirit of Scarlett and is sure to find a cherished place in the hearts of readers everywhere.

About the Author

Alexandra Ripley was an accomplished American author who is best known for writing Scarlett, the sequel to the iconic novel Gone with the Wind. Her literary career began with her debut novel, Who’s the Lady in the President’s Bed?.

However, it was her first historical fiction book, Charleston, that became a massive hit and set the tone for her future works. Her subsequent books, including On Leaving Charleston, The Time Returns, and New Orleans Legacy, were also successful.

Although Scarlett received mixed reviews, it was a commercial success.

Ripley was a graduate of Ashley Hall, an esteemed school in Charleston, South Carolina, and Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. After her death in Richmond, Virginia, she was survived by her two daughters from her first marriage to Leonard Ripley, a son-in-law, and a granddaughter named Alexandra Elizabeth.

Additionally, Ripley has published works under a pen name.

Editoral Review

Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley is a historical novel that serves as a sequel to Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind. First published on January 1, 1991, the book takes readers back to the era of the Civil War and the Reconstruction period, following the life of Scarlett O’Hara, the iconic heroine of Mitchell’s masterpiece.

The author, Alexandra Ripley, was chosen by Mitchell’s estate to write the sequel due to her knowledge of the South and its history. Ripley was a native of South Carolina, and her experience of growing up in a Southern family gave her insights into the characters and culture of Scarlett’s world.

Scarlett continues the story of Gone with the Wind, taking readers on a journey through the epic love affair between Scarlett and Rhett Butler. In this novel, Scarlett travels to Ireland to regain her strength and forget about Rhett after he leaves her.

However, she soon realizes that she cannot live without him and embarks on a perilous quest to win him back. The plot of the novel is action-packed, offering readers a detailed look into the intricacies of Scarlett’s character, her motivations, and the relationships she holds dear.

The novel takes place over several years, from the end of the Civil War to the early days of the Reconstruction period. This provides a unique perspective on a pivotal moment in American history, offering readers insights into how the South coped with its defeat and how the North tried to rebuild a country torn apart by war.

One of the strengths of Scarlett is the way that Ripley brings to life the characters of the novel. Scarlett is a multifaceted personality, who is at once stubborn, impulsive, and fiercely determined.

Her love for Rhett is portrayed as a complex emotion, along with the many obstacles she encounters on the way to winning his heart back. Rhett, too, is a complex character, whose dry wit and charm have made him one of the most beloved characters in American literature.

Another strength of the novel is how Ripley infuses the story with historical and cultural significance. She explored the consequences of the Civil War and the impact it had on the Southern way of life.

She delved into the complexities of Reconstruction, depicting how the former Confederates tried to rebuild their lives in a new world order. This provides an insightful perspective on the South’s struggle to regain its dignity and identity, allowing readers to better understand the period’s rich and varied history.

While the novel is well-crafted, it has some limitations. The pacing of the plot is slow, which may cause some readers to lose interest.

Additionally, the book’s length can be viewed as being too long, which can make it challenging for readers to maintain their engagement. Overall, Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley is a beautifully written novel that explores the themes of love, loss, and redemption.

With well-rounded characters, a captivating story, and historical significance, this novel is an excellent addition to the literary canon. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, loves a good romance or wants a better understanding of the Reconstruction period’s history.

I give Scarlett a rating of 4 out of 5 stars.

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