Amazon UK Review: A Compelling and Thought Provoking Story

 

4.0 out of 5 stars A compelling and thought provoking story, 24 Aug 2012

As I like both Historical Fiction and Oscar Wilde this book immediately interested me. I was not disappointed.
Some of the other reviews have concentrated on the lesbian/gay aspect of this book. I don’t see this as the objective of the story. For me it is the struggle of people who are different against the prejudices of society. Prejudices that unfortunately society still holds today. Race, religion and sexual preferences are all brought into this touching story. The gossip and rumour of a small town forms a focus of irrational hatred fired by one strong and severely bigoted individual. Rising from this are stories of enduring love and friendship.
It is set in a small town in Nevada where the world’s news is brought in through the telegraph office, the centre of gossip and congregation. I have never been to Nevada but the descriptions are vivid enough for me to be able to picture this town, its people, their lives and costumes of that period. The characterisations are also vivid. I hated them; I wanted to slap several of them. I cried with some of them, feeling their grief and I empathised with those that were persecuted.
Mahurin peppers this fictional story with factual history of the time through the means of the telegraph office. Stories of Oscar Wilde, the Atlanta Address, Alfred Dreyfus and other religious and political scandals of the day. Each event serves to fuel the hatred of the bigots in this small town.
The main story, that of the generous Mildred and her cousin Edra is beautifully written. Mildred’s scheme to hide her relationship has some very unexpected results, one of them terrible. I won’t spoil the story for you. It is compelling reading on many different levels and enhanced by a pertinent quotation from Oscar Wilde at the beginning of each chapter.

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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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