Gone With the Wind took place during the Civil War and Reconstruction. It was set from 1861 to about
1870 in Atlanta, Georgia and the surrounding countryside.

Scarlett is in love with Ashley Wilkes and the book starts as she finds out that he is engaged to his cousin
Melanie. So, the next day, at his party, she tells him that she loves him, only to find that he will not break
his engagement with Melanie. She carries on until finally, after he leaves, she throws a china cup across the
room. Suddenly, the notorious
Rhett Butler sits up from his hiding place on the couch and laughs.

To get back at Ashley, she flirts with every man at the party until timd Charles Hamilton asks her to marry
him. Thinking of how it would hurt Ashley, she says yes. The Civil War starts, and Ashley and Charles join
the army. Two months later Charles
dies of pneumonia. To cheer her up, her mother sends her to Atlanta -- to stay with Ashley's wife, Melanie.
When Atlanta is attacked by General Sherman, Melanie had just had her baby just before Scarlett finds
Rhett to steal a horse and take them back to Tara. There she finds her mother dead, father insene, and two
sisters ill with typhoid.

After the war is over, the raising of Tara's taxes to $300 is arranged, so old enemies can buy the lantation at
the sheriff's sale. Scarlett, determined
not to lose Tara, rides into Atlanta knowing the only person with money is Rhett Butler. She asks him for
the money, but he refuses to give it to her. On her way from visiting Rhett, she meets pu with Frank
Kennedy, the man her sister is engaged to, and finds out that he has made money from his store. She then
lies, saying her sister is marrying someone else, and flirts with Frank until he asks her to marry him. Tara is
saved.

Scarlett buys two saw mills, a very unladylike business. She shocks the town by driving her own buggy and
being a great business woman. Scarlett, riding unchaperoned past a bad part of Atlanta, is attacked. Frank
goes off to a political meeting. Only when Rhett comes to learn where the men are in order to save them,
she finds out that it is not a political meeting he went to, but a meeting of the Ku Klux Klan. Rhett saves the
men from being hanged by lying, but he is too late to save Frank from being shot. The day after Frank dies,
Rhett proposes to her. The books follows her and Rhett throughout their
marriage, until it takes Melanie's death for Scarlett to realize that she doesn't love Ashley, but Rhett. But
Rhett decides that he does not love her anymore.