Monday, April 18, 2005

Something's not right...

There's been a void. A craving if you will. Something I couldn't quite put my finger on, but I knew things weren't right. Was it food? Perhaps a cookie. No, a cookie, albeit scrumptious, did nothing to curb my desire. I tried Dairy Queen, beer, pickles, and cheese. Nada! I took long walks, visited old friends, bought new clothes, and even tried being nice to my husband. Zilch!

It took a trip to the countryside of Knightstown, Indiana for me to discover the cure, and even then -- I didn't know that the serum of my relief had been granted on that fateful day 2 weeks ago. But when I opened the pages on Saturday, the moment I read her name on the page...I knew I was whole again.

Scarlett is BACK!

Did you even know that there was a sequel to Gone With the Wind?

While in Florida in early February, I picked up a worn paperback copy of Gone With the Wind? Having never read it or seen the movie, I thought that this Pulitzer Prize winning novel was worth a shot. I took me a while to get into it, but once I did -- it was all I could do to keep from it. When I finished early on a Saturday morning (yes, I volunteered to get up with E that Saturday so I could finish my book) I knew that I was sad like I always am at the end of a good book, but I really did not understand the full magnitude of sadness. I went for days snacking, moping, searching, yearning...for Scarlett I now know.

I didn't know there was a sequel written by another author until I visited the home of my best pal's inlaws. Her mother-in-law had a whole curio cabinet dedicated to Gone With the Wind paraphenalia. When I saw the cabinet, I knew that I was in the presence of a kindred spirit. We quickly uncovered our favorite parts of the novel, talked about the complexity of loving Scarlett, and she went on to encourage me to watch the movie and read the sequel. THE SEQUEL? Yes, Alexandra Ripley had written Scarlett several years following the original publication of the first novel. Although not written as well or with the same complexity, just having Scarlett back in my life makes everything right. I find myself rationing the chapters so as to prolong the inevitable longing that will resume at this book's end.

Never has a character in a book gripped me and channeled her way into my psyche...well, probably not since I first met Ramona Quimby herself, my truest friend of all! Scarlett joins a fine establishment of women who have become a part of my literary collective of companions.

Scarlett, I welcome you, along with the others. Among many, you are joined by the distinguished company of Jane, Anne, Jo and her sisters, Laura Ingalls, Antigone, Ramona, and lest we not forget, Juliet!

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