Emphatic FIVE STARS! Powerful Message!
Paulette Mahurin’s The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap is an eye-opening book with a very powerful message, and I read it with great interest.
First, an admission: I am a diligent history student because as the greats of old would tell you, “Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” This is why all my books have a thoughtful and meticulous historical underpinning seamlessly worked into the narrative. Paulette Mahurin masterfully weaves into her book the historic references of the late 19th century. Oscar Wilde’s trial for gross indecency in Great Britain is the main reference throughout the book, but also mentioned are the controversial Dreyfus conviction for espionage in France, Booker T. Washington, The aggressive US Monroe Doctrine expansion to South America and as a mere wisp, prejudice against Jews in both Russia and USA.
All these historical acknowledgments are much more than mere nods to well known past events. They serve to bring the entire world into the small Nevada town, which is the center of book’s action, and they also serve to underline that prejudice, ignorance and small-mindedness have no borders and are equally suffocating and harmful whether they are directed against a famous writer, a simple woman, a race, a religion, or against entire nations. Nothing happens in a vacuum, and so, this small Nevada town gets involved in raging world affairs through telegrams received via local post office, while playing out their own quiet drama, where gossip and malicious persecution of someone different becomes a sport.
I was impressed by the character of Mildred Dunlap. She is hardly a good-looking woman, with money and a wonderful heart, who helps her neighbors financially despite being the subject of constant gossip and black envy throughout her uneasy life. Mildred allows herself only one indulgence – her long-time secret love affair with her female cousin Edra. But the aftershock of the Oscar Wilde conviction in Britain threatens to change the status quo as the two women start fearing that they may become the subject of persecution themselves. I found the book development done exceptionally well and I found myself rooting for Mildred.
The author is part of the medical profession and I was very impressed how accurately various medical conditions were worked into the story line and how much they enhanced the book. The shocking and memorable culmination of the story is also about a medically-related mistake costing someone their life – but no spoilers!
The story also underlines the karmic consequences of one’s actions as in the end everyone reaps what they’ve sawed! Highly recommended!
P.S. Paulette Mahurin, the wonderful, compassionate and loving soul that she is, donates all profits from the book sale to the animal rescue. In her own words: “All profits from The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap are going to animal rescue, the first and only no-kill animal shelter in Ventura County, CA (Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center).” Please consider buying her book and supporting the animals in need!
You can purchase the book and you can read my review here:
Amazon US Amazon UK (paperback) UK (ebook)