I never know what to expect from authors based on the title or even the cover of a book, but that makes the joy of discovering the story all the more fun. In the book, a young woman named Joan in the throes of her teenage years read Gone with the Wind by Margret Mitchell, and Joan wants to be like the character Scarlett. Joan starts a blog totally committed to anything and everything related to the novel Gone with the Wind. Her posts discuss themes, characters and more from the novel.
Joan is afraid of the real world; she prefers anonymity and the world of the internet because she sees it as safe. Joan, in time, with the help of a therapist overcomes her phobia enough to enter the working world where she meets a man nicknamed Siggy, who befriends her along with giving her words of wisdom. His friendship helps Joan in many ways as readers will discover in the tale, as well as learn about Margret Mitchell's real life history.
At first, I wasn't quite sure where the novel was going, but the deeper I got into the pages the more I felt pulled into the characters' lives. I remember reading Gone with the Wind in high school and having to write a report on the book. A few years back I watched the movie again, amazed at my change in perspective that came with growing up. The novel touches on themes like real relationships compared to internet or virtual ones, slavery, the Civil War and many topics Gone with the Wind reveals. There is also a lot of banter the online community has on the Scarlett Says blog that Joan writes, written very well by Julie L. Cannon. I liked how the friendship between Joan and the janitor developed into a true friendship that in many ways challenges Joan's perspective and lifestyle.
It is pretty amazing that some of the themes revealed in Gone with the Wind and this novel are subjects still discussed in our day. Faith in God or the questions that come when life is different than expected, add the emotions the character Joan displays toward God when she is confronted with overcoming her past make for interesting reading. I hope you take time to enjoy the book and consider revisiting some of the history of Margret Mitchell and her novel Gone with the Wind.
Heartwarming, heart wrenching, humorous, and thoroughly delightful, Scarlett says is the perfect beach read this summer. Julie Cannon was a master at pulling her readers inside her characters' heads and emotions. Scarlett says is more of an experience than a simple read. Novel Rocket and I give it a very high recommendation.
Joan Marie Meeker owns a well-known blog, Scarlett Says, on which she publishes posts of admiration for her favourite fictional character, Scarlett O'Hara from Gone with the Wind. Joan credits Scarlett with saving her life as a teenager and considers her the feminine ideal, but Joan hasfeminine ideal, but Joan has just made a horrible discovery that changes her view of Scarlett, and forces her to reconsider aspects of her own life.
She is supported by Siggy, the old janitor at the PR firm where she works. He follows Joan's blog, but is concerned that she's living entirely in a virtual world, with little interaction with real people. He supports, encourages and advises her from his source of life and wisdom: the Bible (mostly through the book of Proverbs).
Scarlett Says is written in the first person, present tense, as Joan addresses the big issue in her past which pre-empted her withdrawal into her own space, and as she listens to Siggy's biblical words of wisdom. I liked Joan and her voice was engaging and easy to read, so it never felt like I was missing anything by not having another point of view.
The use of first person was good for showing how insular Joan was, and possibly her lack of judgement in choosing Scarlett O'Hara as her role modelâ€”which is kind of sad. I've always admired Scarlett's boldness and determination to achieve whatever she set her mind to, but she was also manipulative and self-centred, two less positive characteristics.
There were a handful of things which suspended disbelief, including (I'm sorry to say) the abrupt ending, but that didn't alter the central theme of Scarlett Says, or the impact of Joan's emotional and spiritual journey as she faces her past and looks to building a different future.
In terms of genre, the book is part chick-lit, part women's fiction and part romance. Overall, Scarlett Says was well worth reading, and I'm sorry to find Julie L Cannon died in 2012. I'd have been interested in knowing what happens next for Joan. Recommended for fans of Angela Hunt, Katherine Ready, of anyone wanting a little more depth in their Christian fiction.
Thanks to Abingdon Press and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Julie L Cannon at her website. Please note there is also an author named Julie Cannon, and you don't want to get the two mixed up.