Why Bella Doesn't Get Her Groove Back

6:00 AM Elizabeth Seckman 14 Comments

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Spoiler alert!!
I’m about to tell you that Bella never gets her family plantation back in Bella’s Point, my historic novel by the same name.

Why not? 
That is most frequent question I get from fans of the story.  
The answer is simple.
I didn’t want her to go back there.  

Let me explain…

I love Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.
If you’ve ever read the book (not just watched the movie), you realize that Scarlet was a bitch who held onto the past like a tiger with steel claws. Basically, the entire book is about all the different ways Scarlet tried to keep Tara and secure the heart of the noble Ashley Wilkes.

So, as a huge GWTW fan, there are things that I LOVE about the book...

The attention to detail—Margaret Mitchell so thoroughly researched this book that even the weather is historically accurate. If it says it rained on a date in the book, it rained on that day.

The charactersScarlet. How Margaret Mitchell makes you like this cold-hearted woman is amazing. Or that she can make us believe there is such a thing as a perfect human- Melanie Wilkes. There is the heart robbing rogue, Rhett Butler- the sensible southern not-so-gentleman who knows the south is lost before they fire a single shot. And we can never forget Mammy—the only human who has the wisdom and hutzpah to control Scarlet.

Mammy, Aunt Pitty Pat, Rhett, Scarlet, Ashley, and Melanie
The story—this isn’t just a love story. It’s like being dropped into history to observe the world as it was from the point of view of one very headstrong woman.

But as a fan, there were things about the story concept I always wanted to tweak—like who didn’t imagine Rhett falling for Melanie instead of Scarlet?

Just me? Seriously?

Old Glory
Well, I did always wonder…what if there was a character with the heart of Melanie Wilkes, but the spirit of Scarlet O’Hara?  

I also, being the Yankee that I am, wanted a story with less lamenting that the south lost the war. Long live Old Glory, right?


Those were the basic ideas behind the inspiration for Bella’s Point.

But what does that have to do with the family plantation and why doesn’t she get it back?

Imagine that's treated like it's a good thing.
The plantation symbolizes the world as it was. A world that was flawed and built on the backs of others. The only portion of the land that is returned to Bella is the family cemetery, a plot of land that sits at the high point of the property and overlooks the valley below. 

Symbolically, Bella keeps her history. The civility, the hospitality, the strength...all the good things from her heritage that will move her into the future. Unlike Scarlet, Bella suffered no longing for the past. She understood that the past was nothing more than an anchor that would steady her while she built her future.  

14 comments:

  1. Bella was much wiser than Scarlet then.

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  2. Makes sense to me at my sea. Never knew GWTW has historical accurate right down to the weather.

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    1. I bet Peggy Mitchell was a dream to live with-- being that picky and all.

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  3. Never realised there was so much going on in Gone With the Wind. Bella sounds very progressive and sensible.

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    1. She is sensible, as long as good sense doesn't interfere with her heart.

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  4. I loved Gone With the Wind (the book) as a kid though I agree with your take on Scarlet. Sounds like Bella is a smarter and more sympathetic character for sure.

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  5. I like what you shared about Bella and Scarlet. Thank you. Interesting and food for thought.

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  6. I've so got to read this book!! And can you believe I've never seen, nor read, Gone with the Wind?! I've watched bits of it when I was a kid but never watched the whole thing. I really should, shouldn't I?
    Suzy x

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  7. I need to read this story. I'm going to go buy it. :)

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