Book Review: The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap, Paulette Mahurinby Julie Catherine / J C Edwards © 2013
I loved this book, and as I read, had difficulty believing this is Paulette Mahurin’s debut novel because of the maturity of the writing and the way the story flowed so easily from beginning to end. I was intrigued by the book description and delighted when I won an ebook copy during a blog tour of Paulette’s The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap.
This book is about two women, Mildred and Edra, who are cousins and lovers living in a small Nevada town in 1895 and the impact on their small-minded community of the news of Oscar Wilde, who was tried and convicted for gross indecency under Britain’s recently passed law that made sex between males a criminal offense. It’s also a story of prejudice and intolerance against any form or display of individualism in personality, appearance or lifestyle, and the painful persecution of and fear instilled in those who lived outside the ‘norm’ of acceptable societal values of the time.
Paulette’s writing style emphasizes the hypocrisy of the town’s leading citizens compared to the lives and relationship of Mildred and Edra, who simply want to live a happy, loving life together. I found myself drawn into the characters of the book, into their lives and rooting for Mildred ‑ eventually being won over by Charley and Gus as well. Paulette took me on an emotional roller coaster of feelings: compassion, anger, sorrow, anxiety and indignation; and in the end, the satisfaction of knowing that love and friendship can bring great strength and healing.
The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap invites us to question our own core values, to search our deepest, darkest places where intolerance and prejudice may take root and color the way we see and treat others different from ourselves. It imprints on our minds and souls the wounds inflicted on those of different faiths, cultures, social standing and personal belief systems; and invites us to celebrate our diversities and honor each other as unique individuals.
The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap is a wonderful book that asks us to open our eyes, our minds and our hearts, and is well-deserving of its critical acclaim and a 5-Star Rating.
All profits from Paulette Mahurin’s book are going to Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center, the first and only no-kill shelter in Ventura County, CA. For further information please contact the author on Facebook.