The Wind Done Gone, Alice Randall, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2001, 208 pp
I have not yet ever read Gone With the Wind, though I have seen the movie countless times. I have read Scarlett, Alexandra Ripley's supposed sequel and vaguely remember it. It's been seventeen years since I read it. The Wind Done Gone is a brilliant novel of imagination and truth concerning Cynara, daughter of Mammy and Mr O'Hara (the owner of Tara). Cynara was born in the same year as Scarlett. Through her diary we learn about her life, her relationship to Scarlett and Mammy and others from Gone With the Wind.
Alice Randall is a woman of color who most recently published Rebel Yell. She is also an award winning songwriter, a screenwriter and journalist. Man, can she write! She first read Gone With the Wind at age twelve and began to wonder where were the mulatto children of Tara? This is her imagined answer.
I love the title. I loved Cynara, her emotional journey, her strength and her wit. If you don't know the story of Gone With the Wind, you might not get how great is The Wind Done Gone. It would be worth reading both books or at least seeing the movie and then reading this lovely, intelligent, caustic novel.
I did like The Help, but I would like a book about that period of history from a black woman's side of the story. Actually, Alice Randall did write part of it in Rebel Yell. Now I've got to go read her second novel, Pushkin and the Queen of Spades, while I hope she keeps writing novels for years to come.
(The Wind Done Gone is available in hardcover, paperback and audio by order from Once Upon A Time Bookstore. To find it at your nearest indie bookstore, click on the cover image above.)