Weekly book talk: The wind done gone

With the last two book talks, I tried to make something of the title. With this one, however, the title of the book says it all. It’s weird. Maybe it’s some dialect I’m not familiar with, and maybe it’s because I’m so used to ‘Gone with the wind’, but ‘The wind done gone’ makes me giggle everytime I think of it. Love the title, like the book but it’s weird. Although the book is mostly fun to read because it’s in the same time as Gone with the wind and I’m a big fan, it raises some awareness about a bigger issue: how little you know of the servants in Gone with the wind. A diary written by one of the slaves on a plantage is interesting at least, but it could have been executed better for more impact.

The wind done gone is a new look at the classic Gone with the wind tale. In this story, not Scarlett, or Other as she’s called here, but her half-sister Cynara (A child of Gerald O’Hara and Mammy) is the main character. Prettier, smarter but unluckier (Not ‘black’ nor white, falling between all defined layers of society), although she ends up with all Scarlett ever wanted: Power over Rhett. Although, the Rhett from Gone with the wind is a very different Rhett in The wind done gone. Which pinpoints me straight away to the biggest flaw of the book: the characters aren’t as lovable (or hateable) as they were in Gone with the Wind. There is no connection to be formed between the reader and the characters.

 

If we look at the central characters in Gone with the Wind and The wind done gone, there are obviously shared personalities (although not officially, since The wind done gone has had some legal issues). However, as I mentioned before, the characters are very shallow infusions of the originals characters. For example, Scarlett has lost all of her willpower and strength. All that is left of her is a broken girl, which goes against everything that is Scarlett in the original. Scarlett is broken at the end of Gone with the wind, yes. But she’s always finding ways to fix wehatever is holding her down. I’ve read the official Gone with the wind adaptions (Scarlett, Rhett Butler’s people), but this has the saddest ending for Scarlett.

Gone with the wind (1949)
Some many scandals

Cynara herself is quite modern: independent and sharp. The main difference between Scarlett and Cynara (besides their color and therefore upbringing) is that Cynara has a social conscience, or develops one during the story. She identifies the people around her for what they are and isn’t afraid to write the truth about them and herselfVol. For example, the Belle figure is a lesbian (except when it comes to Rhett) and Ashley is gay and was hanging out with Prissy’s ‘I don’t know nothin’ ’bout birthin’ babies’ brother. Cyanara hears this from the servants TamTam service, which also spreads the rumors about the real rulers of Tara (of Tata) and what has happened to all the boys born on the farm.

Overall the book doesn’t read smoothly. Cynara has some trouble with finding her voice, going from the servants broken English to German classical sentences. She goes from wanting Rhett to despising him (which isn’t that strange, this Rhett has become a whiny old man). The different names for the characters work slightly confusing and I’ve been spending a lot of time remembering which was meant to be who.

But, the book gives some interesting insights into a world unknown. Who can imagine what it’s like to be sold by your dad, or having a mom that’s purely caring for another baby and not nursing you? I wish the story was told a bit better so I could feel more for Cynara and the hardships she’s had. I knew I had to feel sorry for her, but I never really felt it.

But all things considered: Cynara is able to breathe a little at the end of the book, and I reckon she’s is quite lucky for that.

 

Tips and pointers for next time? Let me know! I’ll be ever so grateful