“We call it Tara, after my father’s home in Ireland.” With this joyful proclamation in the first chapter of The Winds of Tara, Scarlett O’Hara Butler returns to her beloved home. In the elusive and much sought-after novel by Katherine Pinotti, the essence and spirit of Gone With the Wind is alive and well. Loyal fans who have longed to recapture the fascination and enchantment of the world that is Tara can finally find satisfaction. Pinotti stays true to the original characters that Margaret Mitchell gifted us with in her masterpiece using a matching approach and overall mood in her new story. As the cover states, “The Saga Lives On.”
Scarlett has left Atlanta and Rhett, following the death of Melanie Wilkes, to seek comfort in the one thing she knows best at the place she truly calls home: Tara. She hopes to regroup - to think about how she will save her marriage and get Rhett back while also being able to spend time with her children, Ella and Wade. Scarlett wants to see if she can finally make amends with her sisters, Suellen and Careen. Readers will begin to recall one of Rhett’s favorite lines as they wonder if indeed Scarlett has grown a “real woman’s heart.”
Suellen and her husband, Will Benteen, have taken good care of Tara, along with financial help from the Butlers, while Careen, Scarlett finds out, is ill. Careen has had a brief but sadly broken romantic relationship with Yankee soldier Miles Kantor and is now hidden away at a convent. Of course, Mammy, Pork, Dilcey and all the other memorable members of the Tara family are there to greet Scarlett when she returns. Unfortunately, we also find that Jonas Wilkerson and his “white trash” wife, Emmy Slattery, are also still around and want a piece of heaven, a piece of Tara.
As Scarlett learns more about Careen’s mysterious illness, she realizes that she must once again do all she can to save the family name and Tara. First order of business: take Careen to England for a stay to “improve her health” and hopefully save the family from a highly explosive scandal. With plans on dealing with Wilkerson upon her return, Scarlett is just as beautiful and ambitious, but also sensitive and smart when needed for the sake of her family.
Scarlett returns from England after much tragedy both at home and abroad and once again uses her cunning ways to deal with the repetitive misunderstandings of her relationship with Ashley, her feelings for Belle Watlin and her son, Luke, the disaster waiting to happen with Jonas Wilkerson, and most importantly, Rhett. Seeing Rhett in England and again upon return reinforces Scarlett’s love and determination to get him back. As much as she would like to think about things “another day,” Scarlett is forced to act to protect all that she loves and holds dear and in doing so, endangers her own life as well as those of others.
Katherine Pinotti takes up where Gone With the Wind left off and weaves a sequel that is believable as well as highly enjoyable. Pinotti’s book is an exciting read and enjoyable continuation of these much-loved characters. The ending keeps you wondering if things will finally conclude the way a Tara fan would want. Here’s to Katherine Pinotti for an emotional and satisfying story that needed to be told, and in just this way. I have great hopes that The Winds of Tara will soon be available all over the world so everyone can experience the journey back to Tara again.