Review: The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap by Paulette Mahurin

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When Oscar Wilde is sentenced for “gross indecency,” the news spreads like a wild fire across the globe. Upon reaching Red River Pass, it throws the small Nevada town into pandemonium and restlessness. Hateful prejudice and abuse is the common response for this recently criminalized act, and sets the tone for activities in the coming week.

In Mahurin’s debut novel, we are introduced to several intriguing characters and how their lives are affected by the news of this same sex relationship. As if this seemingly forbidden act wasn’t present in the town, we find in Mildred and her cousin Edra, a lesbian couple who tries their best to keep their relationship a secret. But then in Red River Pass, gossip sells.

Admitting that they are not immune from suspicion, Mildred comes up with a plan. She tries to court Charley, a widower, with the hope of turning away public eye from her and her partner. At first this seems like a perfect plan but it soon creates a chain of mind-gripping events that sets up a very realistic ending.

As an aspiring writer, I am attracted to Mahurin’s style of writing. She writes sensibly and sensitively…strong on description, mood and setting. Her intelligent use of time (as this pertains to historical fiction) is worthy of emulation. During this period of Oscar Wilde’s imprisonment, she incorporates other historical issues like sovereignty and racism into her story. This helps to create an atmosphere that really dates back in time and doesn’t bore the reader in any way. The quotes of Oscar Wilde at the start of each chapter are well chosen. In fact, I consider them to be sweet preludes. One can’t go through the book without taking note of the emotions (greed, anger, malice, jealousy, and love) and behavior of the characters in her book. They are all believable and memorable. Also, the dialogues throughout the book are in no way disappointing.

Even if you are not into historical fiction, I bet you’ll still find this book worth the while. Within the story is an important lesson about cultivating good friendship, tolerance, and love.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

*I have received a free copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review*

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22 thoughts on “Review: The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap by Paulette Mahurin

  1. Great Review. You can actually read my story, Illimitable Beauty, for free if you have any type of Kindle e-reader. If you don’t I’ll gladly send you a PDF for a review from you to post on Amazon and on your blog. Please consider. Thanks.

  2. Reblogged this on The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap and commented:
    It is such an honor to have my book read and reviewed by Uzoma all the way from Nigeria. Uzoma is a marvelous writer with a book in the works that I very much look forward to reading. He’s an inspirational blogger and now a man I call my friend. I’m most grateful for this connection. Have a visit to his site and read his beautiful words. It will be a treat.

    1. My pleasure. Hopefully, you will get a copy of my book not too far from now. I wish you the best with publicizing your book. I’m hopeful most of my friends here and outside our blogging community would like to read it.

  3. Wonderful review Uzo. I’m not really into historical fiction, but maybe I’ll see if the library has this on their shelves. 🙂

    1. Ah! The characters are so real! in fact, you’ll be attracted to someone like Mildred (for her characteristic kindness), then there is this clique that spreads gossip that will leave you bitter and annoyed. I bet you’ll find the book a joy to read.

      Namaste.

  4. Hi Uzo. I checked out the Look Inside feature at Amazon for this book… looks like it’s worth reading. Thanks for the introduction.

  5. This review does make the book intriguing and sounds hard to put down! You have included enough details to spark an interest in many readers.I like historical fiction but usually pick up things on the for sale shelf at the library so I can read it at my leisure. I enjoy your style of writing and your fine use of the English language. In Nigeria, do they speak English? Forgive my ignorance in this matter. Take care, Robin

    1. Oh sure! I bet you’ll enjoy the book–once you start, you can’t let go. Paulette sent me a copy and if you’d like to read it, I can send it to you (that is, if you tell me how).

      The lingua franca in Nigeria is English (we were colonized by the British), but then we have more than 150 ethnic languages. My mother tongue is Igbo. That’s the day to day language for my people in the country. And please, you are always free to ask me questions. My people say that “he who asks where a road leads never gets lost.” As a matter of fact, it’s an honour to respond to your question.

      Thanks a heap for the compliment on my writing. I confess it’s still a hard struggle trying to communicate effectively in English. This is evident when I settle down to write my stories.

      1. Your characters sound real and authentic, The way you describe the surroundings gives us pictures through your words! Take care and I will try the library first for the book, then we won’t have to deal with the mail and also, my apartment has small mailboxes. Packages get taken… Thanks so much for wanting me to have your copy of the book, so generous and kind, Uzo!

        1. My bad–I actually wanted to say “send a PDF copy” because I don’t have a paperback copy of her book. Anyway, won’t want to press you to have it. Again, thanks for the compliment.

          1. No problem! Thank you for the offer, I will let you know soon if I got the book at the library. They can send out to bigger city libraries to get it for me, if we don’t have it here. I wrote the author’s name and title down!

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