Review: Characters are rich and make this a great story.

The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap by Paulette Mahurin
Follow Publisher Blue Palm Press
Published march 2012
Fiction/Historical

The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap by Paulette Mahurin

December 6, 2012 – J. A Skinner

Book Description

(from Amazon)

A women’s Brokeback Mountain. The year was filled with memorable historical events: the Dreyfus Affair divided France; Booker T. Washington gave his Atlanta address; the United States expanded the effects of the Monroe Doctrine in South America; and Oscar Wilde was tried and convicted for gross indecency under Britain’s recently passed law that made sex between males a criminal offence. 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 the Wilde news. It is a chronicle of hatred and prejudice with all its unintended and devastating consequences, and how love and friendship bring strength and healing.

Special Note

All profits are going to Santa Paula Animal Rescue Centre,Ventura County, CA. (the first and only no-kill animal shelter in Ventura County). For more info contact the author through Facebook. Buy a book; save a life.


 Book Review

I was asked by the writer to review this book and checked the details on Amazon. It has been reviewed 150 times, mostly five star and some four, three and two stars, so I was looking forward to reading this book but keeping in mind that sometimes some things look too good to be true.

I can now honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed the book and happily give it four stars.

The story is set in a small town in 1895, but relates very well to the problems that still remain today about prejudices and hatred and small mindedness. Oscar Wilde’s behaviour and imprisonment that year had an indirect, but major impact on this small town.

The story touches on ignorance, hatred, gay relationships, anti-Semitism, bullying and much more. The pace is fast and the tension built up over the possible exposure of Mildred and Edra’s relationship, and the probable consequences, makes this a real compulsive read.

The characters are rich and really make this a great story.

Edra was victim of a rape in her childhood and this has an impact on the rest of her life and relationships. The writer puts this much better,

‘……the trauma held in her cells from the brutal rape.’

Then we have poor Helen abused by her father, and this also influences her relationships and reactions to stress. Josie, who has her own difficult background, and the clutch of gossipers who cause havoc out of words overheard and stories made up, if they don’t have the truth. Gus is another important character with his family secrets and his books and wisdom. And of course, Mildred, large, plain, much maligned but still able to give love friendship and financial help to others. She is intuitive and empathetic: In response to Edra’s fears,

… ‘She caught her response like an infection in her chest.’ a really good use of language, with also some real gems like ‘peccant’ (as if guilty of a moral offence, i.e. smiled peccantly)

There is Frank, the newly bereaved, who is slowly questioning his beliefs and values with the guidance of his friends.

The writing is concise. There are no wasted words or rambling passages to pad out the plot which makes this a very comfortable read.

Why only four stars, well some of the story seemed rushed and one or two of the characters seemed overdone, but on balance, a very good book.

 

Rating: 8.5/10 (2 votes cast)

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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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