Book ~ “The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap” (2012) Paulette Mahurin
From Goodreads ~ 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 Britain’s recently passed law that made sex between males a criminal offense.
When 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 Wilde’s imprisonment. It is a chronicle of hatred and prejudice with all its unintended and devastating consequences, and how love and friendship bring strength and healing.
It’s 1895 and Mildred Dunlap and her cousin, Edra, live on a farm outside Red River Pass, a small town in Nevada. Mildred’s father, Max, had made some shrewd land purchases and ended up a wealthy man … that all belongs to Mildred now. Because of her wealth and masculine appearance, the people in the town talk about her behind her back … but that doesn’t stop them from accepting her financial help when they need it. But Mildred doesn’t care … she’s happy being on the farm with Edra, who hasn’t been to town in many years because of a traumatic event in her childhood.
With the news that Oscar Wilde has been in imprisoned for having relations with another man, it is the talk of the town. Everyone thinks that prison isn’t a harsh enough punishment for what he’s done. Mildred is scared of what would happen if they were to discover the true nature of her relationship with Edra. To protect it, she needs to throw them off. She decides to make it look like she is making a play for the newly widowed, Charley, hoping he’ll turn her away, thus giving the illusion of her being a straight woman. But it backfires when Charley doesn’t turn her away which starts the town gossiping even more.
It was a interesting story, different from what I usually read … and I enjoyed it. I liked the writing style … it was well-paced. I liked the characters I was supposed to like and didn’t like the nasty ones. I found Edra a bit annoying, though. She was just too emotional for me.
I’ll keep an eye out for future books by this author.
As an animal lover, it really impressed me that this author is giving all profits from this book to the first and only no-kill animal shelter that opened in Ventura County (where she lives), Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center, in the memory of one of her all time best friends and great loves of her life, Tazzie (August 25, 1996 – September 7, 2011), a Rottweiler she had gotten from a shelter. So she is promoting this book, in hopes someone will pick it, read it, spread the word and furry kids like Tazzie will find their forever homes.
I received a copy of this ebook at no charge from the author in exchange for my honest review.