“Exquisitely imagined, deeply researched . . . brings to the foreground the most enigmatic and fascinating figure in Gone with the Wind. This is a brave work of literary empathy by a writer at the height of his powers, who demonstrates a magisterial understanding of the period, its clashing cultures, and its heartbreaking crises. ” —Geraldine Brooks, author of March

The only authorized prequel to Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind—the unforgettable story of Mammy. On a Caribbean island consumed by the flames of revolution, an infant girl falls under the care of two French émigrés, Henri and Solange Fournier, who take the beautiful child they call Ruth to the bustling American city of Savannah.

What follows is the sweeping tale of Ruth’s life as shaped first by her strong-willed mistress, and then by Solange’s daughter Ellen and Gerald O’Hara, the rough Irishman Ellen chooses to marry; the Butler family of Charleston and their unexpected connection to Mammy Ruth; and finally Scarlett O’Hara—the irrepressible Southern belle Mammy raises from birth. As we witness the lives of three generations of women, gifted storyteller Donald McCaig reveals a nuanced portrait of Mammy, at once a proud woman and a captive, a strict disciplinarian who has never experienced freedom herself. Through it all, Mammy endures, a rock in the river of time.

Set against the backdrop of the South from the 1820s until the dawn of the Civil War, here is a remarkable story of fortitude, heartbreak, and indomitable will—and a tale that will forever illuminate your reading of Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind.
The New York Times–bestselling author Donald McCaig has established an expansive literary career, founded equally on books about working sheepdogs and the Civil War novels Jacob’s Ladder and Rhett Butler’s People, the official sequel to Gone with the Wind.

In his new book, Mr. and Mrs. Dog, McCaig draws on twenty-five years of experience raising sheepdogs to vividly describe his—and his dogs June and Luke’s—unlikely progress toward and participation in the World Sheepdog Trials in Wales.

McCaig engagingly chronicles the often grueling experience—through rain, snow, ice storms, and brain-numbing heat—of preparing and trialing Mrs. Dog, June, "a foxy lady in a slinky black-and-white peignoir," and Mr. Dog, Luke, "a plain worker—no flash to him." Along the way, he relays sage advice from his decades spent talking with America’s most renowned dog experts, from police-dog trainers to positive-training gurus.

As readers of McCaig’s novels will expect, Mr. and Mrs. Dog delivers far more than straightforward dog-training tips. Revealing an abiding love and respect for his dogs, McCaig unveils the life experiences that set him on the long road to the Welsh trial fields. Starting with memories of his first dog, Rascal, and their Montana roadtrip in a ’48 Dodge, McCaig leads us into his thirties, when he abandons his New York advertising career to move to a run-down Appalachian sheep farm in the least populous county in Virginia. This 1960s agrarian adventure ultimately brings McCaig, Luke, and June to the Olympics of sheepdog trials. In his narration of one man’s love for his dogs, McCaig offers a powerful portrayal of the connection between humans and their animal companions.

“Exquisitely imagined, deeply researched . . . brings to the foreground the most enigmatic and fascinating figure in Gone with the Wind. This is a brave work of literary empathy by a writer at the height of his powers, who demonstrates a magisterial understanding of the period, its clashing cultures, and its heartbreaking crises. ” —Geraldine Brooks, author of March

The only authorized prequel to Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind—the unforgettable story of Mammy. On a Caribbean island consumed by the flames of revolution, an infant girl falls under the care of two French émigrés, Henri and Solange Fournier, who take the beautiful child they call Ruth to the bustling American city of Savannah.

What follows is the sweeping tale of Ruth’s life as shaped first by her strong-willed mistress, and then by Solange’s daughter Ellen and Gerald O’Hara, the rough Irishman Ellen chooses to marry; the Butler family of Charleston and their unexpected connection to Mammy Ruth; and finally Scarlett O’Hara—the irrepressible Southern belle Mammy raises from birth. As we witness the lives of three generations of women, gifted storyteller Donald McCaig reveals a nuanced portrait of Mammy, at once a proud woman and a captive, a strict disciplinarian who has never experienced freedom herself. Through it all, Mammy endures, a rock in the river of time.

Set against the backdrop of the South from the 1820s until the dawn of the Civil War, here is a remarkable story of fortitude, heartbreak, and indomitable will—and a tale that will forever illuminate your reading of Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind.
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