I’m very grateful for everyone who reads my book and takes the time to write a review, to help shine a light on tolerance and also because all profits from the book are going to animal rescue. (http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/sep/08/ojai-authors-historical-novel-teaches-tolerance/ SHELTER PROFITS ARE GOING TO: http://www.santapaulaarc.org/ )
The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap takes place in the small town of Red River Pass, Nevada, 1895. All her life Mildred has been an outcast, resigned to forever being an old maid. When love finally comes to Mildred it’s in the form of her cousin and best friend, Edra Fitzgerald. After the arrest of Oscar Wilde in England for gross indecency makes headlines around the world, Mildred and Edra must find a way to keep their relationship secret. Mildred comes up with a plan. She befriends the recent widower, Charley, in hopes that the catty townspeople will be satisfied with that and leave her and Edra to their privacy.
Paulette Mahurin weaves the compelling struggle of two women against a community horrified at the idea of a same-sex relationship. Prejudice takes center stage, all the while showing us how narrow-minded people with ugly minds and sharp tongues can destroy the spirit of those that dare to be different.
In The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap, Mahurin shows us love truly does conquer all. An enduring story for the ages, destined to be read again and again.
I enjoyed every bit of this beautifully written tale. In particular, the author’s apt descriptions of life in as it evolved in early settlement towns of the west. Many of the book’s themes are relevant today, none the least, homosexuality. The love and commitment portrayed between Mildred and her cousin is such that ANYONE would be lucky to find today. I also enjoyed the contract between our own cutting edge medical treatment of today and that which our forefathers suffered with. This delightful book was gifted to me for an honest review.
I’ve been dying to get my eyes on the pages of this book. Being the good book reviewer that I am, I do what I can to keep everyone in proper order, but from time to time, a book really nags at me to pick it up.
When it finally came time to pick this book up, I did so, with relish, and devoured every page. I will admit, when I read the description, A Woman’s Brokeback Mountain, I was a little hesitant. In all honestly, I hated that story. It wasn’t the topic, as anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge LBGTQ advocate, but honestly, the Brokeback story was so two-dimensional. I found that I didn’t care about the characters and I so wanted to.
Luckily, with this book, I didn’t have that problem. I immediately fell in love with Mildred and Ezra. Their characters were so well defined, different but worked so well together. The story itself rushed along, not because of the story’s particular pacing, but because I didn’t want to stop turning pages.
The book touches on a subject that was sensitive for the time-period, but also sensitive now. With phrases like “war on marriage” and “keeping marriage traditional”, people tend to forget that there are actual human beings involved in this. People who just want to experience the same rights to love the people they love, regardless of sexual preference and gender.
This book does an amazing job of that. Of reminding us that people involved are human beings. They love and ache, hurt and bleed, they exist just as everyone exists.
I am happy to give this book a five of five stars. The writing is tight, if not a little sophomoric, but I found it fitting with the time period and the background of the characters. There wasn’t much, if anything, that drew me out of the story, and frankly, it was just wonderful. Regardless of your genre preference, you should pick up this book. It’s absolutely well worth it and I’m definitely looking forward to anything Paulette Mahurin puts out in the future.
Paulette Mahurin has written a novel that you will be thinking and talking about long after you regrettably read the last line. It’s not often that a story and its characters will haunt me. Mildred, Edra, Charlie, Gus, and even the loathsome Josie are still weaving in and out of my mind.
Paulette is a reader’s writer. She gives us a splendid historical setting in which to situate her compelling story. The characters she introduces us to are real, three-dimensional people–none of them perfect (and some less perfect than others). But isn’t that true of people in real life? Still, we are left wondering about certain aspects of these characters: were Mildred’s health issues chronic or acute, what motivated Gus beyond his heritage to be so understanding, could something beyond jealousy explain the depth of Josie’s vitriolic nature? Leaving the reader with these questions shows me that this author respects her readers enough to be curious and read beyond her words. I admire that. As a writer, it is all too easy to hand everything over to the reader–to not challenge them to think. Paulette made me ponder, wonder, and think. She respects me as a reader.
So much has been said about how skillfully she addressed the issues of intolerance, homophobia, and the power of love, kindness, and forgiveness to counteract those evil forces in human and social nature. I can only simply add my voice to the many who applaud her adept handling of the inherent human duality of darkness and light.
Amazing to me was the power of suggestion that Paulette brought to the reader’s attention in this story. The telegraph and the “tell a friend” were the only two modes of communication during the time frame of this novel. But the pervasive power of an idea, regardless of its veracity, is as true today as it was a century or more ago. People can be moved to do things they know are wrong simply because someone who they think is “in the know” tells them to do it. As this story illustrates in very poignant ways, the victims of gossip or of the actions of blind followers are not always guilty and are not always the intended victims.
The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap is a lesson in human nature, which, both fortunately and unfortunately, has not changed much since the days when Oscar Wilde was also persecuted.
Bravo, Paulette, for writing a riveting and captivating novel with a social conscience.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves reading well-written, thought-provoking books. I also think this book would be great for book clubs and high school or college classes addressing issues of social ethics, gender issues, human rights, sociology, and psychology.
The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap by Paulette Mahurin, was a wonderful read from beginning to end. The story was extremely well thought out and the historical references were a key to keeping it all together. The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap is set in the late 1800’s, with news of Oscar Wilde’s imprisonment for indecency setting the stage. It goes to show how bigotry, pettiness and gossip can put a community on edge and destroy the lives of many. While Mildred and Edra were the key characters, I truly appreciated the development of characters Gus and Charley and their role in the outcome, although I disappointed that a bolt of lightning didn’t come down from the sky and fry Josie’s (a character truly easy to despise) ass. The flow and story of the book made turning the pages easy. I look forward to Ms. Mahurin next book.
After starting off so early with Oscar Wilde I assumed this story had nowhere to go but down.
I was wrong… so very wrong.
This period story covers the themes of love, prejudice, acceptance, and ultimately the humanity of interpersonal relations. It glosses over nothing and, in a head on fashion, addresses not only life in the late 1800’s, but life… life today… life as it is, and as it should be (or could be).
I am thankful that I had the opportunity to read this book, and I highly recommend it to anyone with emotion, compassion, or a shred of humanity within them. I found it to be entertaining (if not emotionally evocative), and I can’t imagine anyone else would find it otherwise.