Date Published: September 1991
Book Author: Alexandra Ripley
Summary reviewed by:
Bachelor of Arts (BA), University Of California, Santa Barbara 2019
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A must-read, Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley, is a ticket back to the mesmerizing world of the Old South and the storied lands of Ireland, a sequel as unforgettable as the beloved classic Gone with the Wind. The intriguing journey of Scarlett O'Hara will leave you breathless and longing for more.
The narrative takes us from the ashes of the Old South to the bustling streets of Atlanta, Georgia, where Scarlett, nursing her broken heart, is determined to rebuild her life and the grandeur of Tara. Struggling to reignite the flame with Rhett Butler, Scarlett's yearning for love goes beyond borders, leading her to the mystical and captivating landscapes of Ireland.
Imbued with a fierce spirit and a headstrong demeanor, Scarlett takes on the obstacles laid before her - familial disputes, societal expectations, and the throbbing ache of a lost love. An aristocratic world unfolds itself in Ireland, where Scarlett's heritage shines through, allowing her to play a pivotal role in a community entangled with tradition and class wars. Amidst these fascinating elements, the tale of Scarlett becomes an extraordinary blend of strength, resilience, and a constant quest for love.
Spoilers (click here to reveal spoilers)
Against the odds, Scarlett emerges triumphant, transforming from a distraught widow to a force of nature, shining brightly in the rich tapestry of Irish society. The unexpected death of her estranged husband, Lord Richard Fenton, propels Scarlett into a thrilling legal battle, with her inherited land and respect at stake.
The final chapters see Scarlett rise as the legitimate lady of Ballyhara, while also coming to terms with her insecurities and past mistakes. The final turning point arrives with a letter from her old love, Rhett Butler, indicating a potential reconciliation. In the beautifully penned ending, Scarlett leaves her legacy in Ireland to set off to America, embodying hope, redemption, and the promise of a reunion with Rhett, leaving readers on an emotionally satisfying, yet anticipatory note.
Scarlett O’Hara: A strong-willed and determined woman, relentless in her pursuit of love and security. Her bold maneuver to save her inherited land, Ballyhara, from being taken away demonstrates her resilient nature.
Rhett Butler: The enigmatic lover of Scarlett. His letter expressing his longing for Scarlett shows his enduring love and complex emotions.
Lord Richard Fenton: Scarlett’s second husband, who displays a deep sense of tradition and aristocracy. His stubborn insistence on maintaining societal norms exemplifies his values.
Resilience and Determination: The book showcases Scarlett’s unwavering strength and determination, evident when she fights for her inherited land.
Love and Longing: The constant pursuit of love is a central theme, most prominent in Scarlett’s relentless efforts to reunite with Rhett.
Tradition vs Change: This theme is reflected in the clash between Scarlett’s modern views and the traditional societal norms of the Irish aristocracy.