FIVE STAR REVIEW *****
The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap is a book that deserves much more that the five stars a reviewer is limited to give. In the acknowledgements Paulette Mahurin captures the reader and sets the tone with this thought provoking statement:
“…those silent voices that have perished at the hands of hatred, I am grateful for your lives. I have to wonder if I heard your agonized whispers in the middle of the night. Wake me up you did, to what it is to suffer at the hand of prejudice over the color of your skin, the legacy of your genetic heritage, your sexual preference, and in many, your authentic selves that dared to differ from the norm.”
It is with such easy flowing and powerful language that the author takes the reader through this intricate tale. Taking enormous events in global history and simplifying them to a small town perspective in 1895 Nevada. She does this with effortlessness and straightforwardness. Enticing the reader with the town’s gossip, giving every character and word a perfect place, taking the reader through a wide array of emotions.
As a huge fan of Oscar Wilde’s work I also enjoyed her choice of his quotes at the start of each chapter.
The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap is far more than the story of a forbidden love between two women. It is the story of the sad reality of all forms of prejudice as well as the wonderful potential for acceptance and understanding.
About the book...
THE PERSECUTION OF MILDRED DUNLAP is A women's Brokeback Mountain. The year was filled with memorable historical events: the Dreyfus Affair divided France; Booker T. Washington gave his Atlanta address; the United States expanded the effects of the Monroe Doctrine in South America; and Oscar Wilde was tried and convicted for gross indecency under Britain's recently passed law that made sex between males a criminal offense. When 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 the Wilde news. It is a chronicle of hatred and prejudice with all its unintended and devastating consequences, and how love and friendship bring strength and healing.
All profits are going to SantaPaula Animal Rescue Center in Ventura County, CA. (the first and only no-kill animal shelter in Ventura County). For more info contact the author through Facebook. Buy a book; save a life.
About Paulette ....
Paulette Mahurin, an award winning 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 Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center, the first and only no-kill shelter in Ventura County, CA.
Visit a chat I had with Paulette @ The Bridge of Deaths BLOG
In Paulette's own words...
From the time I was ten year old, I've loved to write. While in college I wrote two award winning short stories. This encouraged me to continue to write, and write I did but never completed any of my novels due to other responsibilities: education, jobs, family, etc. After attending and receiving a Master's Degree in the Nurse Practitioner Program at UCLA, I went to work in the second busiest emergency room in Los Angeles County. I saw and learned about things that haunted me, until bit by a tick and diagnosed with Lyme Disease (which went to my heart valves, brain, and muscular skeletal system) knocked me down and afforded me time to write and release the memories onto pages before me. I wrote, and wrote, and released what was stored inside, which finally gave way to a story that was to change my life, The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap.
When I began to feel better, I joined a writing class, in Ojai, CA, where I live. The teacher, Deb Norton (screenwriter/play writer of The Whole Banana) had us do an exercise involving a photo. We were to write a 10 minute mystery. The photo I picked was of two women huddled close together in clothing that looked circa turn of the twentieth century. I made them a Lesbian couple trying to avoid being found out.
In my research, I came across Oscar Wilde's imprisonment. Britain had recently changed its laws to make homosexual activity, a man having sex with another man, a criminal offense resulting in a two year hard labor prison sentence. The combination of the photo from that writing class and Oscar Wilde's imprisonment were the seeds that started the story, six years in the making. For those six years, I studied Wilde, the history of Lesbians, western settlement in the United States, and I opened to what it must have been like to live in fear of being persecuted because of the nature of one's existence, that can no more be changed than the color of grass. As I wrote, I saw myself in the characters who I dialogued with, related with as if we were friends today, and in doing this I learned that external factors may change (the environment, technology, family relating, etc.) but the nature of the human condition and how we manifest remains the same. There will always be stories to tell, to write, to read, to appreciate, because we invest in literature from our humanness, our emotional composition, and we relate to the imagery created with narrative and dialogue that suit our preferences. We are drawn in, over and over and over again, to similar story lines, themes, sequels, because of this human experience--that in sitting down before a book or e-book, we are transcended out of our ordinary lives to magical places that written words create, no matter how similar or repetitive the story, because, after all, we are all living, breathing, stories.
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