Scarlett: The Sequel to Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind

by Alexandra Ripley

Hardcover, 1991



Set in the Reconstruction-era South, this sequel to Margeret Mitchell's well-loved novel follows Rhett, Scarlett, and Ashley as they pick up the pieces of their lives.

Library's rating


(812 ratings; 3.2)

User reviews

LibraryThing member Kace
This was the first book I remember being so anticipated, and dreaded at the same time. I didn't think anyone could do justice to the first story and thought they should leave well enough alone. Yet I had to read it the first chance I got, and it truly did suck, with as much force as a book can suck. The characters were watered down versions of their original glory, and Scarlet, though never an angel, was just this simpering fool of a woman that the original would never have put up with. Seriously, what the hell.… (more)
LibraryThing member TeenieLee
Just who the hell is so conceited that they think they can write the sequel to one of the best stories ever written?

LibraryThing member jshillingford
A surprisingly well done sequel to the classic novel by Margaret Mitchell. Scarlett returns to Ireland to build a new life. There she enchants her town, until she is arrested under suspicion of murdering a well known playboy. Rhett gets involved in the matter, of course, and Scarlett has a child of her own. Not nearly as good as the original, but worth reading. The same cannot be said of the made for tv movies based on this book.… (more)
LibraryThing member mrsdanaalbasha
The book begins where Gone with the Wind left off, with Scarlett attending the funeral of her former sister-in-law and rival for Ashley Wilkes' affection, Melanie Wilkes, at which her estranged husband, Rhett Butler, is not present. Scarlett, heartbroken and aggravated that Rhett has left her completely, sets out for Tara and is saddened when she learns that Mammy, her mainstay since birth, is dying. When she arrives at Tara, she sends a telegram to notify Rhett about Mammy under the name of Will Benteen (her sister Suellen's husband), because she knows that Rhett won't come if he suspects Scarlett is there. Before Mammy dies she makes Rhett swear to look after "her lamb" Miss Scarlett. Rhett agrees, although he has no intention of honoring the request. After Mammy's death, Rhett and Scarlett fight, which culminates in Rhett leaving and Scarlett returning to the Atlanta house, determined to win Rhett back.

Scarlett, in her haste to win Rhett back, travels to Charleston to visit Rhett's family and tries to corner him by winning his mother's affection. He instead secludes himself in the family's old plantation on the river. Scarlett convinces Rhett to take her for a sail on the harbour, where their boat capsizes during a terrible storm. When they become shipwrecked, Rhett tries to keep Scarlett awake until they reach land. Scarlett and Rhett swim until they reach an island, and take refuge in a hollow of sand dunes. Rhett says, "Oh my darling, I thought I'd killed you! My love, my life...". Scarlett thinks he means it, and the two make love in the cave. Rhett later tells her that "when a man survived something he thought he wouldn't, he does and says crazy things," and that he didn't mean it. Scarlett, knowing that he meant it tells him to look her in the eyes, and tell her honestly that he does not love her. He then confesses, but runs out because he does not want to "lose himself" over her again. He compares her to an addiction to opium. Once safely back in Charleston, Rhett leaves Scarlett near death at his mother's house, telling her, in a letter, that while he admires her bravery in the face of danger, it has changed nothing; he will never see her again.

After Scarlett has regained her strength, she leaves Charleston with her two aunts, Pauline and Eulalie, to attend her maternal grandfather's birthday celebration in Savannah. She leaves a hastily written note to Rhett's mother, whom she has grown to love and admire, with Rhett's sister, Rosemary. Rosemary burns the note. (Rosemary overheard a nasty exchange between Rhett and Scarlett and was upset with this "dark side" of her brother. Rhett told Rosemary the whole story of loving Scarlett till there was not one drop of love left and how he would fall in love with her again if he didn't keep away from her.)

Scarlett connects with the Savannah O'Haras against her maternal family's wishes. Scarlett's grandfather offers Scarlett his entire inheritance if she will remain with him in Savannah until his death and avoid all contact with her father's side of the family. Scarlett refuses the old man and storms out of the house, furious at his demands. She goes to stay with her cousin Jamie and his family. Soon after another cousin named Colum, a priest from Ireland, joins them. Later Scarlett agrees to travel to Ireland with him. By this time Scarlett has realized that she is pregnant with Rhett's child but she keeps her pregnancy hidden.

In Ireland, Scarlett is heartily welcomed by her Irish kin, including her grandmother, Old Katie Scarlett, Gerald's mother. Exploring one day with her cousin Colum, they pass by an old house which the latter explained was called 'Ballyhara' along with the land surrounding it; it was O'Hara land long ago before the English seized it, along with other land from the Irish. Scarlett is mildly interested until she receives a notification of divorce from Rhett. Scarlett makes plans to leave for America at once but is stunned by more news; Rhett is married to another woman, a Charlestonian named Anne Hampton, who is said to resemble Melanie Hamilton. Heartbroken and full of remorse over her past deeds, Scarlett decides to remain in Ireland. She works with lawyers and leaves her two-third share of her father's plantation, Tara, to her son Wade Hamilton (fathered by her first husband, Charles Hamilton, brother of Melanie Wilkes), buys Ballyhara and settles down in Ireland, to her Irish family's delight. She and her cousin, Colum, tell everyone that her husband had taken ill and then died, leaving her a widow, rather than tell the truth that she was divorced.

As Ballyhara is slowly restored, Scarlett eagerly awaits the birth of her child, praying for it to be a girl and vowing to be a good mother. She is well respected by the townspeople and her family, earning her a reputation as a hard worker, with fierce Irish pride. She becomes known as The O'Hara, a title reserved for the undisputed leader of a family clan.

One stormy Halloween night, her water breaks. Her housekeeper, Mrs. Fitzpatrick, and the midwife whom Colum summons are unable to handle the situation, and it appears that Scarlett will die. Instead, she is saved by the wise old woman who lives near the haunted tower and who appears suddenly. The Caesarian birth is successful, but internal damage is done to Scarlett; as a result, Scarlett can no longer have children. The baby, a girl, is born with dark skin like Rhett's, but with blue eyes that slowly turn as green as Scarlett's. Full of love and thanksgiving, Scarlett names her Katie Colum O'Hara, and calls her "Cat" because of her green eyes. Rumors in the town abound about the birth of the child since one of the townspeople summoned to help with the birth claimed that the wise woman (witch) birthed a healthy boy from Scarlett but replaced the boy-child with a girl-child changeling. These rumors and fears are accented by the fact that Cat is born on Halloween, the time when bad spirits roam and play tricks on the living.

After Scarlett has settled down in Ballyhara, she runs into Rhett a number of times—in America when she sees him while she is on the boat to Boston, at a fair where she admits she still loves him and at a hunt a week later. All the while, he still does not know he has a child. He then seeks her out at a society ball and, in this gesture, Scarlett realizes he still loves her, and that she in turn loves him in a way only she and he will ever know.

Lord Fenton, one of the wealthiest men in Europe, pursues Scarlett relentlessly, wanting to marry her but not with good intentions. He wants Scarlett to bear his children after seeing Cat's fiery spirit and fearlessness. He also plans to unite their estates; he owns Adamstown, the land adjacent to Scarlett's. The combined estate will go to their son upon their deaths but Cat will bear his name and have the best of everything. Angered by his arrogance, Scarlett refuses and orders him out of her house. He laughs at her and asks her to call him when she reconsiders. Scarlett leaves for Dublin for her yearly visit for parties and hunts. She later decides to accept Lord Fenton when she hears that Anne is pregnant with Rhett’s second child (the first child was lost to a miscarriage). The news leaks out about her engagement and Rhett, in a drunken state, insults her when she runs into him at a horse race. A mutual friend tells her that Anne died of a fever and the baby died four days after its birth and she rushes back to Ballyhara hopeful that Rhett would come looking for her. She finds English there with a warrant to arrest Colum, who is the head of the Fenian Brotherhood, a group of Irish people planning to revolt against the English. Colum is murdered and Rosaleen Fitzpatrick sets fire to the entire English arsenal to avenge Colum. The villagers, thinking Scarlett is in league with the English, burn her house down. Rhett comes to her rescue and he tries to convince her to escape with him. Scarlett doesn't go, but runs around her house yelling, "Cat! Cat! Where are you?" Rhett, confusedly says, "There's no time for the cat! We have to go!" Scarlett looks at him, dumbfounded. "Oh you fool! Not a cat," she barks. "Katie Colum O'Hara, called Cat. She's your daughter." Stunned, Rhett demands that Scarlett tell him how that's possible. Scarlett, still anxious about finding Cat, gives him a hurried explanation of when Cat was conceived. Rhett frantically goes in search of his newfound daughter with Scarlett at his heels. They find Cat in the kitchen after Scarlett remembers that Cat loves the kitchen. The three climb into the high tower on Ballyhara where Cat has made a playhouse and they stay there for the night. Scarlett explains why she didn’t tell him about Cat and he understands. Rhett and Scarlett both say "I love you". They wake up the next morning ready to start their new lives together and leave Ireland. The book ends with "Grainne told me to keep it," said by Cat, speaking of the old rope ladder which they will use to climb down from the tower.
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LibraryThing member mramos
First I have to admit that I let this book sit on a shelf for over a year before deciding to read it. Margaret Mitchell did not want the story continued, and I had enough of Scarlett. Well, I read it. It is not writte in the same style of Ms. Mitchell's. And Ripley moves us out of Tara right away. Both good move on his part.

The book is well written and I actually enojyed reading it now that I am finsihed. It starts with a selfish self-centered middle aged child, Scarlett. We follow Scarlett on her quest to win back Rhett. She left Tara for Atlanta, and follows Rhett to Charleston. Where we see that he will not allow her to hurt him again. But we see her as a determined person, willing to do what ever it takes to reach her goal. She then runs to Savanah, using the pretense of her grandfather's birthday for going.

The story picks up when she leaves it all behind too find her roots in Ireland. In Ireland Scarlett realizes that it was her actions that caused her sorrow. And we see her mature and grow into a woman.

The author did a good job researching what Charleston and Savanah were like in the 19th Centuary. And I found those parts interesting. As I did reading of life in Ireland. But other then that, it is an entertaining read. Ripley inroduces some fine new characters. But the sequel to Gone With the Wind, I can not see any of this happening.
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LibraryThing member Spurts
Wildly improbable with Scarlett unrecognizable and rhett barely so (and absent for much of book). Started with decent slant of getting more into her father's background versus the southern "aristocracy" she was raised in...except that was away from Tara as promised in synopsis on book jacket. If not touted as sequel and a standalone book,, would have rounded up for not being completely formulaic and settings/era not as commonly used in the genre. Writing was to my liking except often overly dramatic, just not story or characters or thin attempt to connect to Gone With The Wind.… (more)
LibraryThing member KatieScarlett
This reviewer is of the personal view that a fine job in continuation of character development was accomplished in Scarlett and that by moving the main setting to Ireland, allowed for a whole new list of characters, and therefore more creative freedom. Ms. Ripley remained true to Scarlett's and Rhett's personality traits, and I found this book to be a thoroughly acceptable sequel and a very good read.… (more)
LibraryThing member dpappas
It was only physical pain, she could stand that. It was the other pain—the postponed, delayed, denied shadowy pain—that she couldn't bear. Not yet, not here, not when she was all alone.

Gone With the Wind is one of my all time favorite books so I always felt that one day I would get around to reading Scarlett. I had my reservations about reading this book because GWTW has such a magic to it and now that I have read Scarlett I realize those reservations I had were justified. I never expected someone else to create a work that was as great a masterpiece as GWTW but when a book is marketed as a 'sequel' to GWTW I expect some of the same style and for the characters to be the same as they are in GWTW.

This book just didn't capture the same Scarlett that readers love from GWTW. I was really confused with how Alexandra Ripley had Scarlett acting and where she had her going. We all know how selfish Scarlett can be but this book had her abandoning her children to go off 'adventuring' and finding distant relatives. I never would have thought of Scarlett going off to Ireland.

This book has a mix of old faces and new faces. But let's be honest, it is a whole lot more of new faces than old faces. Scarlett's children, her sister Suellen and Suellen's husband Will, and Rhett make small appearances in this book. I was yearning for some old familiar faces in this book. I feel like Rhett was there a decent amount in the first half of the book but then he disappears and reappears only for a bit until he is finally back in the story at the end. I can't really describe how I felt about this interpretation of Rhett Butler because I don't feel like he was in the story enough.

Let me tell you some of the events in Ireland were just outright boring. It was bad enough that I had to get used to all these new faces (that I felt were all using Scarlett) but then the plot starts to drag on and get boring. I didn't like the whole 'changeling' thing and didn't feel it was necessary. When I was reading about Scarlett giving birth to Cat I got as squeamish as I was when I watched the first Saw movie. I can't say that I enjoyed when Scarlett started spending time in Dublin as those events could be as boring as the rest of the Ireland parts.

I don't think that this was the best it could have been as a sequel to Gone With the Wind. Quite frankly I was expecting a lot more than this. I never really realized that I had my own theories about what I felt happened to all of the characters after GWTW until I started reading this book. I kind of like my own theories better than the events in this book but I do have to say that even though this wasn't what I expected or wanted I did manage to fly right through it.
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LibraryThing member TadAD
OK, I started Gone With the Wind with low expectations and was very pleasantly surprised. This was pretty much the reverse: pulpy trash featuring unlikeable characters, in a stupid plot, that somehow transformed this from an American story to an Irish one.

By the way, did Ripley even read Gone With the Wind? Neither Scarlett nor Rhett were remotely consistent with their characters from the first novel. Someone told me that Margaret Mitchell chose Alexandria Ripley to continue the story. Wow, that was a bad move!

Abandoned and good riddance!
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LibraryThing member schmal06
It was entertaining but obviously paled compared to the original. Nevertheless, for those who can't get enough of GWTW, it provides 800+ more pages of at least some of the world of we fell in love with.
LibraryThing member littlebookworm
I don't think this book should exist. It is nowhere near as good as Gone with the Wind - I prefer the cliffhanger ending to this, by far. There was no need for a sequel. I can confidently say that I will never read this book again.
LibraryThing member texicanwife
This sequel is bound to transport the reader into reformation southern America following the Civil War. It is true to Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone With The Wind', and goes beyond. It is well worth the time to read the 800+ pages, which you won't be able to put down!!!
LibraryThing member Jeyra
It takes a brave writer to attempt the sequel to one of the best beloved books ever written. It takes an especially brave writer to attempt a character like Scarlett O'Hara. In this case, Ripley's gutsyness pays off. The story is fabulous, and she skillfully, and believably, develops Scarlett into a likable adult. Contains sexuality. There was a TV movie based on this book, and whoever was responsible for it should be shot.… (more)
LibraryThing member callmecordelia1912
After the passionate GWTW, this book was disappointing. Scarlett's determination to win Rhett back left me eager for a sequel; but this book didn't seem to capture the passion and spirit of our beloved Southern Belle. For half the novel, she wasn't even in the South; but in Ireland. Overall, I didn't enjoy it too much.
LibraryThing member eas311
I'm embarrassed that I enjoyed this book. I blame being a teenager.
LibraryThing member KateForBooks
This is an excellent continuation of the original "Gone with the Wind". Scarlett is well developed and her adventures and misshaps are true to her original character - except she grows up along the way. She has a great heart, a brilliant mind and an admirable work ethic - she can be counted on, and is; much to her disadvantage at times. Highly recommended! (Don't bother with the movie - the book is BEST!)… (more)
LibraryThing member farleycar
It was like a bad car accident. I didn't want to look, but I couldn't stop myself.
LibraryThing member onlyhope1912
After the passionate GWTW, this book was disappointing. Scarlett's determination to win Rhett back left me eager for a sequel; but this book didn't seem to capture the passion and spirit of our beloved Southern Belle. For half the novel, she wasn't even in the South; but in Ireland. Overall, I didn't enjoy it too much.
LibraryThing member bushrarehman
not so good.....margret mitchell had written it in much better sense and aspect as this one.
LibraryThing member SusanBarnard
This really is a typical romance novel. It is based on the characters created by Margaret Mitchell in "Gone With The Wind" , with a bit of Irish and history tossed in. I truly enjoyed this book but only because I had read GWTW and already knew the characters (their history and story). "Scarlett" picks up where GWTW left off, and does a good job of bridging the two stories. Once again we see the on/off romance-game played and re-played by Scarlett & Rhett. This story was a little too heavy on the romance-side from time to time, but I still enjoyed the character and setting development throughout the story. I think the direction Scarlett took in this story is completely believable. Even though Scarlett is a strong, scheming, grown woman, she remains naive to the world and still feels inadequate. This story takes you to all new locations with new characters and events (some historical)worthy of GWTW. WARNING: if you saw the "Scarlett" movie, you have NO IDEA what this book is about! The movie compressed and completely changed significant events. I would never watch the movie again, and felt robbed of what should have been a great movie experience.… (more)
LibraryThing member JulieQ
Where to start? When Scarlett goes to visit Rhett's mother we see her trying to act all proper. My opinion is that Scarlett would never stoop to behaving like the women she has always despised. No matter how much she wanted Rhett back. And then why in the world would Scarlett go to Ireland? I understand wanting to move on with your life when all hope may be lost but it didn't make sense. I saw the movie before reading the book. I was disappointed in both. She tried to recreate the Scarlett we remember but I think failed. I don't think I would recommend this unnecessarily long book.… (more)
LibraryThing member cenneidigh
Loved it, the end made me cry. I love the fact that some love cannot end. I love the way the story ended and was happy with the writer.
LibraryThing member TriciaDM
I really liked this book, I have read it multiple times and each time I can feel the need for Scarlett to get Rhett back at any cost!
LibraryThing member donttalktofreaks
The saga of Scarlett's life continues as she tries to get Rhett back. Scarlett ends up in Ireland, learning who she is and where she came from. Ripley did a great job finishing the story. You'd think Mitchell hand selected her.
LibraryThing member mrn945
I have read Gone with the Wind and it's sequel more times than I care to admit. I simply cannot help myself though, it just appeals to the hidden romantic side of me in a way other novels just never did.

I have to admit though that I have always loved Scarlett even more than Gone with the Wind. Perhaps it's because of Scarlett's growth, or the Irish setting, that just resonate with me more fully than the first novel.

I assume that more people have read this sequel, but if you haven't, do ahead and try it! Don't be daunted by the 800 or so pages, it goes quickly. Seeing (figuratively) Scarlett finally grow-up and fall in love is worth the time and effort.

If that doesn't persuade you, the beautiful and lush Irish backdrop for the second half of the novel should be more than sufficient!
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Warner Books (1991), Edition: 1st Edition, 823 pages

Original publication date





0446515078 / 9780446515078


Original language

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