I received a copy of The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap by Paulette Mahurin in exchange for an honest review. And honestly? It’s one of the best historical novel I’ve read. I’m happy the author suggested I share it with friends. No problem! One friend read it in a single DAY and couldn’t say enough good about it.
The book is entertaining as well as educating. It brings to the limelight that small town, petty mindset that rolled across the wild west like tumbleweed and sometimes still blows through our world today…and it makes no apologies for shedding light on some ugly dark corners.
The message of inclusion and acceptance is only one part of the book. The story is another. Plausible, moved right along, suspenseful in those ways readers like. And the characters – yup…I fell head-over-heels for Charley and Gus, felt sympathy and mama-bear urges toward Mildred, wanted to pinch the cheeks of adorable little Mabel, and wish I could throw the ball to Cranky. I definitely felt a kinship with these flawed and lovable characters. They change, grow, feel pain and joy…and I was right there alongside side them, traveling the slow dusty trail to enlightenment in a time and place when searing heat and old ideas burned to the very heart of every small town.
I well up and get eye-stingy over some stories, but this one brought full-on tears (in a good way). I recommend this book to anybody who enjoys history, controversy, and stories that tug at your spirit and wrap you in their compassion.