This book just keeps on rolling! I thought last week's section was eventful, but this week's was so much more so.
I really grew to like Scarlett during this portion of the book. For the first five or six chapters, she was still pretty selfish, but she came into her own later on. She has to take charge and lead everyone out of Atlanta as the Union soldiers come into town, she has to get them to Tara and she has to take charge and run Tara because no one else can. She actually stops being petrified of hard work (Even though she resists it for as long as she can manage) and she stops whining about the little inconveniences.
Mitchell says that Scarlett reaches a point of no return; from this moment on she will never be the same. I hope that's true, because I enjoyed seeing Scarlett as a strong, not just a smart-mouthed, woman able to take care of things on her own.
There was a lot more tension and drama in this portion of the book, also. Melanie goes through a hard labor, there's a lot of fighting around Atlanta, the city begins to burn, Scarlett and the others refugee toward Tara, there's very little food left to feed nine people, the Union comes through Tara, etc., etc. Mitchell does a great job of rendering a sense of urgency in the scenes.
My favorite scene in this section of the book was when the Union soldiers ransack Tara as Scarlett stands and watches. She is tired of the Union taking things that belong to her family and those she cares about, and she decides to make a stand. I laughed out loud when she shoved the Union soldier's wallet down the baby's diaper. I never would have thought of that! And, I was so glad she finally began to show a little bit of love toward Wade by rescuing Charles' sword from the soldiers.
So much has happened in this novel already, and I'm not nearly halfway through. I can't wait to see what happens next.