Although the movie Gone with the Wind was wonderful, the book far exceeds it in many ways. It's not just a novel, a romance or historical fiction, but it gives an overview of life in the South leading up to the American Civil War and the Reconstruction.
Scarlett is the main character, a headstrong Southern Belle who enjoys flirting with a plethora of male admirers. Most of her characteristics are inherited from her Irish father, (a Georgia plantation owner) but her mother tries to keep her girls in check and guides them to follow all the rules for ladies in the South. There is one man, however, that Scarlett cannot tame and that is Rhett Butler who sweeps in and out of her life throughout the book. He is as scheming as Scarlett and they antagonize each other constantly. Her manipulations entangle her with many men but her first and only love is Ashley Wilkes, someone who is unobtainable and holds Scarlett at a distance. Despite all her efforts, Scarlett tends to be her own worst enemy and she overlooks so many genuine friendships in the effort to recoup what the family has lost from the Civil War years.
Margaret Mitchell only wrote this one masterpiece, which took seven years to write, and unfortunately died just over a decade after Gone with the Wind was published.