December 10, 2012
Book Review: The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap by Paulette Mahurin
An impressive read, where tension builds up from the very first pages, following Mildred Dunlap’s life and that of her only friends – Edra and Charley. A life she lives as she wants to, not as the others consider she should. Mildred’s plain looks fed town talk despite her generosity “to most of the people in the town when financial need arose”.
The opening pages mirror the small community’s reaction at hearing the news of Oscar Wilde’s imprisonment because of homosexuality. This will trigger the surfacing of feelings, dormant up to then- prejudice, intolerance and hatred-that live in closed minds. It also brings havoc in the existence of the people who fall victim to the persecution, ignorance and mockery of the other inhabitants of Red River Pass.
The characters are credible and appealing. Along the story we witness significant changes in their behavior and attitude towards each other and towards the whole mean community; a community whose only means of entertainment is gossip and meddling in other people’s lives. Lack of compassion and understanding, pointing fingers to the others brings nothing but destruction.
A strong storyline, with characters who take the reader on their journey of self discovery and revealing the bitter secrets well hidden up to then. Tolerance towards people who‘ve chosen another style of life, friendship and, above all, unconditional love may overcome all barriers and mend old soul’s wounds.
I enjoyed the read that hooked me and kept me reading till the end. An excellent novel and food for thought. Without doubt, The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap is one of the best-written books I’ve read this year. I wholeheartedly recommend it.
Labels: community, gossip, homosexuality, ignorance, persecution, self discovery, The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap, tolerance
The reviewer Carmen Stefanescu author, (Shadows of the Past) from Romania also taught Language & Literature.