Scarlett O’Hara (Gone With the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell)Read about the other entries on the list.
If you’ve seen the classic film adaptation of this novel, you already have an idea of what makes Scarlett an anti-heroine: she’s brash, pursues her dreams and desires in direct opposition to society’s rules, and definitely makes enemies along the way. Desperately in love with Ashley Wilkes at the start of the Civil War, Scarlett is devastated when Ashley marries a kind and simple girl, Melanie, instead. What ensues is a years-long journey that Scarlett believes will eventually lead her back to Ashley, but instead leads her to tragic ends.
Gone With the Wind is among four books that changed Jodi Picoult, five books that changed Kimberley Freeman, Becky Ferreira's seven best comeuppances in literature, Emily Temple's ten greatest kisses in literature and Suzi Quatro's six best books, and was a book that made a difference to Pat Conroy. It is on the Christian Science Monitor's list of the ten best novels of the U.S. Civil War.