Gone with the Wind is an incredible story of love, life, strife, hard times and the strength of the human spirit. The book starts with Scarlett O'Hara, spoiled little rich girl who has her choice of any man and lives her life as if people are just things meant to please her. She lives on a cotton plantation, Tara, with her family and their slaves. She is in love with Ashley but has no qualms about leading every other boy on to satisfy her vanity and her wild streak. When the Civil War breaks out, everything changes for Scarlett and everyone she knows. Friends and beaus go off to die in the war fighting for "The Cause." Scarlett often feels like an outsider. Scarlett is completely understandable even when you don't agree with her or her actions. All of the different characters in the book (even the "unimportant" ones) are written so well that you feel that you have know or do know someone like each of them. The book explores the inner workings of different kinds of people and how a fighting spirit can do more than expected. I fell absolutley for Rhett Butler and understood exactly who he was and what he wanted. He is mischevious and teasing and a source of amusement for the reader. Even though I more or less knew what to expect in the end, there were countless moments in the book that surprised me or made me hold my breath. Everyone in this book had their lives changed one way or another by the Civil War and the book deals with how each person copes with the aftermath of the war the best that they can, for some - the only way that they can. Scarlett has a fighting spirit, and even during the parts of the book that I found myself tsking at what she was thinking or doing, I totally accepted that that is who she is. This book is a beautiful breathtaking story and it is worth the time spent.