I was given a copy of this book by the author in return for an honest review.
I started reading this novel with a bit of trepidation, as I have not read this genre of book before. However, by the time I had read the first few pages, I found myself completely won over. I absolutely loved it!
Mildred Dunlap is a loving and generous woman, who is not the most prettiest or the most feminine looking person. However, the townsfolk, especially the women, tend to judge everyone by how they look, rather than how they act. Mildred is hiding a secret, and when news of Oscar Wilde’s imprisonment in England causes a storm in the town, she is compelled to act to preserve it.
This is a fascinating tale of small town life in the late 1800’s, where the gossip-mongering, and meddling in other people’s lives, is rife. And where everyone thinks they know everyone’s business.
I would like to think of myself as a tolerant person, but as I read this story, I began to get angry. Not at the characters as such, but at the prejudice, intolerance, ignorance and most of all the bigotry these characters represent. I really wanted to march up to Josie and slap her! I’m not normally a violent person, and it takes a lot to get a rise out of me! I could really hug Gus and Charley, as they see beyond a person’s looks to the soul inside.
I know I come from a different generation and time than depicted in this story, but the subject of same sex relationships, and the emotions they engender, is still relevant today. I believe that everyone has the right to love whomever they want regardless of sexual orientation, and without prejudice. However, it will take time to change attitudes, and I think there will always be a “Josie” or at least a person like her spreading gossip for many years to come.
Paulette Mahurin has written an amazing tale full of deep emotions that had me in tears one moment, and laughing the next. I highly recommend this book if you are looking for a fantastic story that will touch you deeply. – Lynn Worton (WaAR)