Synopsis: A Different Kind of Angel

My next book, A Different Kind of Angel, is due to be released around the end of August. As with many of my other books, I was drawn to a very difficult subject: the abuse of women in the late 19th Century, specifically the ill treatment and corruption in a women’s asylum. And one woman’s extremely brave attempt to expose the corruption. Written from the perspective of the protagonist, Klara Gelfman, a young woman who fled from the 1881 Kiev pogrom that devastated her family, the reader is taken behind the scenes to unthinkable injustices. It is historical times like this that the brave souls who fought for our rights, liberty, and the pursuit of justice shine brightly.





Inspired by real events chronicled by journalist for The World News, Elizabeth Cochrane (pen name, Nellie Bly), in 1887.


Klara Gelfman’s life in Kiev was serene until she turned nineteen. That’s when Russia’s Tsar Alexander II was assassinated, and a vicious propaganda campaign spread that blamed the Jews for his death. Klara and her family became victims of the many pogroms breaking out throughout Russia. None were so violent as what hit Kiev in 1881. It was there that Klara’s family was torn asunder and her world changed forever.


This is the story of what happens to this traumatized, orphaned, young Jewish woman when she escapes Russia and crosses an ocean to arrive on the rough streets of New York City able to speak only a few words of English. There, in the land of the free, Klara’s life is thrown into turmoil when she is mistaken for a drunken prostitute. Mistreated by those entrusted to protect her—the police, a judge, doctors, and nurses—she is condemned to an unrelenting hellscape when she is incorrectly and involuntarily committed to a lunatic asylum.


At a time when women had no political, economic or professional rights, comes a story where corruption by the powerful was as overt and commonplace as was garbage on the New York City streets. From the award winning, international best-selling author of The Seven Year Dress, comes an unforgettable story of the devastating effects of persecution, hatred, and arrogance. A Different Kind of Angel is also a story of love, family, friendship and loyalty. It is a journey into the nature and heart of the resilience of the human spirit that will leave readers thinking about the story long after they finish the book.



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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53 Responses to Synopsis: A Different Kind of Angel

  1. Pingback: Synopsis: A Different Kind of Angel – ❧Defining Ways❧

  2. You are an amazing writer and you have indeed chosen a very tough subject ! Best wishes for the greatest success.

  3. txjessy says:

    Sounds very deep and moving!

  4. I will read anything you write Paulette. I look forward to this.

  5. I’ve read a lot about this period. Laurie King’s last book was set at least partially in such an institution. It was not merely cruel. It was a good way to steal a woman’s inheritance … and life. Good subject!

    • Yes, what you wrote is so true. In my research I encountered all sorts of corrupt unjust means by which women were falsely “incarcerated” in the asylum. Everything from speaking a foreign language, being a nuisance to their married boyfriend, and as you wrote to rob them of their inheritance, etc. Thankfully, rumors of the corruption leaked and came to the attention of Pulitzer who owned the largest NY newspaper. He sent Nellie Bly in undercover to validate the “rumors”. How many unfortunates are so lucky as to have someone undercover to divulge corruption first hand? Not many.

  6. Jean-Jacques says:

    How wonderful, having a new book on the way to being released. I’ve doubt you will be enjoying equal success for this your 5th book as you did for the first four. Sounds most interesting, and am anxious to read this one too, Best of luck for book #5…

  7. Oh Paulette this sounds heartbreaking, and necessary, and uplifting all at once.
    I wish you much success with it.
    Alison xo

    • Hi Alison. The research was certainly revelatory and all the things you mentioned. Were Nellie Bly alive today she’d certainly be spearheading women rights issues. That she achieved anything back in 1887 is quite remarkable.

      Hope you and Don are well. ❤️

  8. makagutu says:

    will there be an Epub version?

  9. I’ll be looking out for it…another tough area that you have tackled. Writing it can’t have been easy….

    • No it wasn’t easy. But then on the backdrop of what Nellie Bly set out to do and accomplished against the powers-that-be took a lot of the sting out of the pain. I don’t know why I’m driven to write about historical injustices, persecution, etc. but I do gravitate in that direction. There are a lot lessons to learn therein. And from the looks of our governments and societies around the world it is clear that history continues to repeat itself ad nausem.

  10. What a moving synopsis. So difficult to survive in this world with its traumas and injustices. Bullies do well and artists suffer and starve. Stories are our only hope.

  11. ivor20 says:

    Your new book looks fascinating Paulette, and of course I’ll be purchasing one. xx

  12. Wow! Your book shines a light on a topic many young women don’t have a clue about-the abuse of women in society back in the day. All the best with the book launch of a truly remarkable topic.

  13. natuurfreak says:

    Again after so much work a new books.Looks great.Wish you a lot of succes

  14. dgkaye says:

    I look forward to reading that book Paulette. 🙂 x

  15. It sounds like a great – if difficult – book. I’m looking forward to reading it!

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