Monday, May 23, 2011

Read-alike Guides - Gone with the Wind

If you liked Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, you might enjoy one of these books:

Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
It is 1864, and Inman escapes from a war hospital and starts walking back to Cold Mountain in order to reach Ada. Meanwhile, Ada struggles to save her mountain farm with the help of Ruby, an illiterate but efficient farmer. Like GWTW, Frazier’s novel is character-driven, dramatic, romantic, and has a strong sense of place.

Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
The epic novel of Russia in the throes of revolution and one of the greatest love stories ever told follows Yuri Zhivago, physician and poet. Zhivago wrestles with the new order and confronts the changes cruel experience has made in him, as well as the anguish of being torn between the love of two women. For another classic, epic Russian romance, try Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina.

East of Eden by John Steinbeck
This sprawling and often brutal novel, set in the rich farmlands of California's Salinas Valley, follows the intertwined destinies of two families—the Trasks and the Hamiltons—who helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel. Steinbeck does for 20th century California what Mitchell did for 19th century Georgia.

Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor
Abandoned pregnant and penniless on the streets of London, Amber St. Clare manages (by using her wits, beauty, and courage) to climb to the high position of Charles II’s favorite mistress. Among courtiers, noblemen, whores, and highwaymen, from the Great Plague to the Fire of London, she remains, in her heart, true to the one man she loves and can never have.

Heart of the West by Penelope Williamson
Clementine is a proper Bostonian lady until she literally bumps into Gus McQueen and elopes with him to Montana. The land controls her fate and that of her two friends, a prostitute/landowner and a Chinese picture bride. Williamson brings to life the lost and fading ideal of the American frontier as Mitchell did for that of the genteel South.

House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
A portrait of American manners and morals at the turn of the century offers the saga of Lily Bart, who lacks one requirement for marrying well in New York society—her own money. Wharton shows the restricted choices for wealthy women. Lily’s relationship with Shelden somewhat echoes Scarlett's inability to recognize her love for Rhett.

Peachtree Road by Anne Rivers Siddons
Lucy will never become the demure Southern lady her family requires—while her older cousin is too shy and bookish, a far cry from the suave, gregarious Southern gentleman he's expected to be. This is the story of two people cursed by blood and birth, set against the turbulent growth of a great Southern city.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
The classic novel of romantic suspense finds the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter entering the home of her mysterious new husband and learning the story of the house's first mistress, to whom the sinister housekeeper is unnaturally devoted. The young Mrs. De Winter, struggling to find her identity and consumed by love, is a timeless heroine.

Shades of Gray by Jessica James
Set in Virginia during the volatile period of the Civil War, Shades of Gray chronicles the clash of a Confederate cavalry commander with a Union spy as they defend their beliefs, their country, and their honor. This Civil War love story illuminates the fine line between friends and enemies at a time when traditions and principles were worth defending at all costs.

The Touch by Colleen McCullough
Scottish-born Alexander Kinross writes home from the Sydney gold fields for a bride, marrying his young cousin Elizabeth, who struggles with her husband’s ex-madam mistress and illegitimate son. Also set in the 1860s (though a world away), this saga is about the lively personalities and explosive situations that shaped Australia. (McCullough’s classic The Thorn Birds is also a must-read.)

Beyond GWTW

Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley
In the sequel authorized by the Mitchell estate and set during Reconstruction, Scarlett chases Rhett to Charleston. His continued rejection causes her to flee first to Savannah and then to Ireland in search of her roots, where she falls in love with the people and way of life.

Rhett Butler’s People by Donald McCaig
McCaig’s work chronicles the life and times of Rhett, disowned son of a cruel South Carolina planter. This reimagining fleshes out Rhett’s back story and replays famous GWTW scenes from his perspective.

The Wind Done Gone by Alice Randall
In the unauthorized parody, Cindy, Scarlett’s mulatto half-sister, describes her life as a plantation slave and relates how she made her way to Atlanta to become the mistress of a white businessman.

Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind by Ellen F. Brown and John Wiley, Jr.
This biography of the novel documents the writing process, reception by the publishing industry, its cultural importance, the iconic film adaptation, and much more.


  1. Thanks for posting this. I am re-reading GWTW for the 3rd time in 25 years. I just finished Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind: A Bestseller's Odyssey from Atlanta to Hollywood by Ellen F. Brown and John, Jr. Wiley. Full of intresteing information! ~Jen

  2. Also, "Roses" by Leila Meacham. I didn't think anything would hold my interest like GWTW, but this book I could not put down!