Jessica Nickel: Author, Review Blogger, Amazon Review

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!,July 1, 2012
This review is from: The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap (Paperback)

The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap
Paulette Mahurin

The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap (Paulette Mahurin) is the story of the unique Mildred Dunlap and her struggles fitting in with the world around her. Set in the 1890’s, with Oliver Wilde’s arrest for homosexuality in England providing the undercurrent, the novel moves at a swift pace. Mahurin adeptly explores themes of race, class, sexuality, family, and religious freedom while keeping the reader engaged with and caring about the main characters.
Mahurin’s writing style is straightforward. Descriptions are lean, almost like Mozart in a way – no more than what is needed, but no less. The plain speech is mostly free of jargon and colloquialisms that one might find in other books of or exploring late 19th century America. At first, Mahurin’s separation from colloquial speech is jarring, but the familiar tone of the dialogue keeps the story relatable. Mahurin made a smart choice: by keeping the writing style lean and the dialogue clear, room to explore complex themes is expanded.

The main characters of the book do a good job carrying the weight of the narrative, but strength lies in the development of rich supporting characters whose inner lives become revealed, as needed, to buoy the different philosophical arguments in the story to new heights. Thus, every character in the book is an invitation to think about the issues being presented. Just one example of a character whose presence in the story ebbs and flows this way is Gus, the shopkeeper. Throughout the story, we learn more about his experiences with class, religion, and philosophy, and he becomes more critical to the main plot. Most authors would be challenged to write these complex themes without weighing down the story. Mahurin rises above and beyond the challenge, giving readers a story that flows along so smoothly that one might not notice all of the nuance at first read. The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap is a book that will open eyes and minds, a book that deserves a critical look because it addresses issues that still plague society today.

About The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

The year 1895 was filled with memorable historical events: the Dreyfus Affair divided France; Booker T. Washington gave his Atlanta address; Richard Olney, United States Secretary of State, expanded the effects of the Monroe Doctrine in settling a boundary dispute between the United Kingdom and Venezuela; and Oscar Wilde was tried and convicted for "gross indecency" under Britian's recently passed law that made sex between males a criminal offense. When the news of Wilde's conviction went out over telegraphs worldwide, it threw a small Nevada town into chaos. This is the story of what happened when the lives of its citizens were impacted by the news of Oscar Wildes' imprisonment. It is chronicle of hatred and prejudice with all its unintended and devastating consequences, and how love and friendship bring strength and healing. Paulette Mahurin, the author, is a Nurse Practitioner who lives in Ojai, California with her husband Terry and their two dogs--- Max and Bella. She practices women's health in a rural clinic and writes in her spare time. All profits from her book are going to animal rescue, Santa Paula Animal Shelter, the first and only no-kill shelter in Ventura County, CA, where she lives. (see links below on Ventura County Star Article & Shelter) To find out more please go the The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap on facebook or Amazon or e-mail us at the gavatar addresses. Thank you. (photos: of Paulette, her family, and a reading at The Ojai Art Center, July 2012)
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