My Little Pocketbooks: Review: The Wind Done Gone   

Monday, September 10, 2012

Review: The Wind Done Gone

Author: Alice Randall
Publisher:  Houghton Mifflin
Release Date: April 8, 2002
Hardcover:  210 pages
Source:  Purchased years ago from EsoWon Bookstore
Buy the Book Amazon
Book Description
In an inspired act of literary invention, Alice Randall explodes the world created in Margaret Mitchell's famous 1936 novel, the work that more than any other has defined our image of the antebellum South. Imagine simply that the black characters peopling that world were completely different, not egregious, one-dimensional stereotypes but fully alive, complex human beings. And then imagine, quite plausibly, that at the center of this world moves an illegitimate mulatto woman, and that this woman, Cynara, Cinnamon, or Cindy, beautiful and brown, gets to tell her story.
Cindy is born into a world in which she is unacknowledged by her plantation-owning father and passed over by her mother in favor of her white charges. Sold off like so much used furniture, she eventually makes her way back to Atlanta to take up with a prominent white businessman, only to leave him for an aspiring politician of her own color. Moving from the Deep South to the exhilarating freedom of Reconstruction Washington, with its thriving black citizenry, Cindy experiences firsthand the promise of the new era at its dizzying peak, just before it begins to slip away. Alluding to events in Mitchell's novel but ingeniously and ironically transforming them, The Wind Done Gone is an exquisitely written, emotionally complex story of a strong, resourceful black woman breaking away from the damaging world of the Old South to emerge into her own, a person capable of not only receiving but giving love, as daughter, lover, and mother. A book that gives voice to those history has silenced, The Wind Done Gone is an elegant literary achievement of significant political force and a novel whose time has finally come.
Review
Let me start by saying two things.  One, I didn't read Gone With the Wind or see the movie all the way through.  But I know the story line and the overall idea.  Two, the word parody by the definition from Wikipedia (the Internets brain) does not have to be humorous.
Ok with that being said on to the review...
This book takes place during the time of Gone with the Wind and with the dame characters but by different names.  The name thing in this book really got on my nerves.  As in the book's desprition the main character is called or goes by several names.  Cynara, Cinnamon or Cindy.  The name depends on her mood, the person talking to her and her age.  I think!  Anyways, Cindy is telling the story and the book is basically her journal and her best friend.  So with that in mind why does she need to change the names of all the characters.  Does Margaret Mitchell hold the copyright to Rhett Butler's name from 1936?  I am just wondering out loud.  With all the name changing going on in the book there is a few guessing who is who along the way.
But the book was lacking in a few other areas for me as well.  Sine Cindy grew up a literate black woman in the South and the mistress of a wealthy man she is sitting pretty compared to her counterparts and family.  But for her to have so much she is missing one thing... A Purpose!  What does she do all day?  She has a cook.  She has no kids. She has a man that gave her a house and she has no purpose at all.  I have to admit I have watched several episodes of "The Read Housewives of..."  and those women have made having fun, traveling, shopping, lunching, partying, showing out their purpose.  If Cindy had a purpose then the book would have been alot better for me.  
Recommendation
 I recommend this book to teens and adults due to the subject matter.
Challenges
This book is number 6 in my Dusty Bookshelf Challenge
This book is number 9 in my TBR Reading Challenge
This book is number 12 in my POC Reading Challenge
This book is number 38 in my Goodreads Challenge 

Did you read this book?  What did you think of it?

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