Review: This Would Be An Excellent Text For Classroom Discussions About Diversity And Tolerance.

5.0 out of 5 stars A Secret Is A Dangerous Thing, November 15, 2012
This review is from: The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap (Paperback)

The tight-knit Nevada community of Red River Pass in 1895 may seem like a world apart from Great Britain but when the scandalous news of Oscar Wilde’s conviction on charges of gross indecency ripples across the telegraph wires, the effects are cataclysmic. The town’s self-righteous, God-fearing denizens – especially the womenfolk – just can’t seem to stop talking about the playwright’s perversity, especially insofar as the unsavory memory it conjures about two young males from their own ranks who were once caught in a compromising scenario.

All of this insidious chatter strikes a particularly ominous tone with Mildred Dunlap, a woman whose generosity to anyone in need has never quite been able to cancel out the petty jealousies and nasty remarks about her mannish, ugly looks, her reclusiveness, and her avoidance of the church. While Mildred has grown accustomed to being a social outcast – despite the town’s reliance on her bank account – she would do anything in the world to protect her most treasured relationship with the fragile Edra. It’s only a matter of time, Mildred realizes, before the town gossips start scrutinizing their insular lifestyle or – worse – cross the threshold of their home and make the salacious discovery that there is only one bed. Desperate to preserve their secret at all costs, Mildred hatches a plan to throw their potential attackers off the scent, a plan that involves a newly widowed neighbor named Charley.

Homophobia, however, is not the only syndrome running rampant throughout Red River Pass. Jews and blacks are equally suspect of evil among the close-minded residents and, if they had their druthers, would be completely eradicated from the face of the earth. The author does an exceptional job in not only capturing the landscape in detailed brushstrokes but also delivering a plausible cast of characters whose collective objective is to sling mud and muck on others in order to feel better about themselves. This book would be an excellent text for classroom discussions about diversity and tolerance, and the character of Gus emerges as a gentle spokesperson for the overarching themes of love and honor.




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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