The Wind Done Gone by Alice Randall is a parody of Gone With the Wind. It takes the main characters of Gone with the Wind and shows them from another point of view, a point of view so haunting that if I ever read Gone With the Wind again I’d be seeing them through a different lens altogether.
I read Gone With the Wind several times, growing up, inspired by the movie. Mostly the beautiful dresses inspired me, and maybe Clark Gable. I didn’t care for the sequel Scarlett nearly as much. I thought I was pretty familiar with the plot line so I’d be able to make sense of a parody. It took me about halfway through the book to put two and two together, although I would like to say it has been at least 15 years since I read the original book.
Alice Randall first read the book at the age of twelve, and as she grew older she began to wonder where were the mulatto children of Tara. This interested her in particular because she is of a mixed race ancestry and it was a topic that was not mentioned in Gone With the Wind. I never thought about it too much, but looking back I realize that it wasn’t addressed at all. The Wind Done Gone is her reply.
The main character is a mulatto girl named Cinnamon. She is the daughter of Gerald O’Hara and Mammy and is conceived around the same time Scarlett was. The book leads you to believe it was the same night. Cinnamon and Scarlett are half sisters and friends of a sort during their childhood, but this uneasy relationship is tinged with jealousy on Cinnamon’s part. She watches her mother Mammy give all her love and attention to Scarlett.
Eventually Cinnamon is sold to a family friend to preserve the peace in the house, but this sets in motion a train of events that has lasting consequences. Eventually at age thirteen she ends up as a maid (and only a maid) in a brothel where she meets Rhett Butler. He buys her a few years later and she becomes his mistress. He only goes to meet Scarlett because of her description.
I guess the real story is Cinnamon’s journey of self discovery. First she is the slave with no say in her future. Then she becomes a woman with a sort of power over her man. Then she becomes herself in the fullest extent and chooses how she wants to live her life and who she wants to live it with.
While it was interesting I am not sure that I enjoyed it very much. There was quite a bit of imagery that involved breasts. Scarlett being wet nursed by Mammy, and then Cinnamon being wet nursed by Scarlett’s mother in revenge. I’m sure that anyone can find all sorts of symbolism in the situation. There was also an explicit scene or two so I ended up having to skip a page or two here and there. I’m not sure if Cinnamon could tell the difference between love and desire. There was also foul language at least once.
It’s not going to be a book I will ever read again. I think Alice Randall has a talent for writing, but I didn’t care for the way she approached the subject.