“Mildred and Edra are a compassionate, quiet lesbian couple, planted in 1895 Nevada. Having the financial means to be quite helpful to the community and individuals, they are also passionate about protecting their lifestyle from a community "run over" by a group of gossipy, prejudiced women. A powerful story with a message that touches hearts and makes us think -- while, at the same time, an enjoyable story with texture, detail, historical references, and containing many levels. Wrapping historical events into the writing of this novel was brilliant! (And educational!) There were a number of prominent characters besides the two or three main ones, and all were well-developed, carrying depth, color and nuance. // This work was very well-edited, which always makes reading a particular pleasure. My only negative comment is about the use of some modern terminology within the story. Phrases like "freaking out," and others I can't recall. // A wonderful and penetrating read on so many levels. ”zzz wrote this review Sunday, October 20, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Loved this story. Two women try to keep their true relationship a secret from the town gossip mongers during the late 1800's and find out who their true friends are.”Tracy W wrote this review Sunday, May 19, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This book is a historical bombshell. I loved the plot and the story line, and the ending I never seen coming. I totally expected something else to happen. ‘The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap totally blew me away.’
The writing in this book was great and the story captured me from the first page. I really couldn’t put it down. It was such an involved story that you just had to know what happened. I mean there was so much ignorance in that time it was interesting to read about two lesbians living in secret because of what was thought back then.
The time and society that they lived in was a very strict and almost inhumane one. There was a very small amount of open minded people in that time. If you were caught doing things that society looked down upon there were dire consequences. I think we take for granted how far things have come in our society today. Granted people are still targeted unjustly but this story shows how severe it was back then. These two women lived in fear of their lives because of the love that they had for each other.
This book was not my normal type of read but I was very captivated by this book, the characters really spoke to me and the plot really stuck out. I enjoyed this book thoroughly and would recommend it. The writing was amazing and I loved this book so much! Such a great job and I would read anything else from this author!
“There was such a lot that I loved about this book. For a start, the story rattled along at a good pace that never waned and always kept me interested. So very often, even with books that I would recommend, there seems to be some flat spot along the way but not with this one. As a bonus, each chapter is headed by an Oscar Wilde quote.
The story is about Mildred and Edra, in love at a time of little tolerance and living with small town gossip and ignorance that they are sure will uncover the truth about them... until Mildred comes up with a plan.
I was surprised and pleased by the twists and turns in the story. I expected it to be much more predictable and I admired the way the author set up the reader to think that Mildred's plan, after a few shaky encounters and problems, would come through and save them, when actually the story takes on a whole new and unpredictable turn, just as things do in real life.”
“Prejudice lives with us, whether it is related to birth, gender, color, ethnicity, nativity, marriage, work, or any other reason out there. We have sent man to the Moon, missions to Mars, have a black President of the USA and yet we haven't been able to root out prejudice.
How must then life have been for a woman in the 1800s? A woman who fell in love with another woman,in a small town in Nevada where everyone knows the other and gossip and scandal are its sole entertainment.
Mildred falls in love with her cousin Edra and in the circumstances and the emotions of the day, has to turn to Charley, a widower, to give them a facade. Will the three be able to carve a life for themselves?
Set against the backdrop of the imprisonment of Oscar Wilde in England for homosexuality, Paulette Mahurin's The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap is a lyrical book, a book that will move you to tears and also uplift you.
This is a book that makes you think. It is a book Rodin would ponder over.
There is only one drawback with this book. It makes you wish Paulette Mahurin releases a book every day and keeps us submerged in the magic of her writing. ”
“After starting off so early with Oscar Wilde I assumed this story had nowhere to go but down.
I was wrong… so very wrong.
This period story covers the themes of love, prejudice, acceptance, and ultimately the humanity of interpersonal relations. It glosses over nothing and, in a head on fashion, addresses not only life in the late 1800’s, but life… life today… life as it is, and as it should be (or could be).
I am thankful that I had the opportunity to read this book, and I highly recommend it to anyone with emotion, compassion, or a shred of humanity within them. I found it to be entertaining (if not emotionally evocative), and I can’t imagine anyone else would find it otherwise.”
“The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap takes place in the small town of Red River Pass, Nevada, 1895. All her life Mildred has been an outcast, resigned to forever being an old maid. When love finally comes to Mildred it’s in the form of her cousin and best friend, Edra Fitzgerald. After the arrest of Oscar Wilde in England for gross indecency makes headlines around the world, Mildred and Edra must find a way to keep their relationship secret. Mildred comes up with a plan. She befriends the recent widower, Charley, in hopes that the catty townspeople will be satisfied with that and leave her and Edra to their privacy.
Paulette Mahurin weaves the compelling struggle of two women against a community horrified at the idea of a same-sex relationship. Prejudice takes center stage, all the while showing us how narrow-minded people with ugly minds and sharp tongues can destroy the spirit of those that dare to be different.
In The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap, Mahurin shows us love truly does conquer all. An enduring story for the ages, destined to be read again and again.”
“Mildred Dunlap has always been too tall, overweight and heavy featured, she has resigned herself to being an old maid. The daughter of the richest man in the area has set her up for ridicule and gossip. But Mildred's spirit is indomitable. She remains kind and steadfast.
Edra is Midlred's cousin and best friend. A traumatic even when she was a child, has left her frightened and vulnerable. Mildred helped her move beyond the trauma and the two fell in love.
Living in a small Western town, the two keep their relationship a secret. The arrest of Oscar Wilde in England, for gross indecency, makes them both afraid. What if they are found out? What will happen to them? Mildred comes up with a plan to cover their tracks by starting a relationship with the recently widowed Charley. She hopes a relationship with him will deflect notice from her relationship with Edra.
Charley is a kind, handsome, friendly man who nursed his wife as she died of cancer. Devastated by her death, he is very much in need of a friend. Mildred shows him kindness and friendship. He is a loving, kind man who cherishes his friends and family.
I have to admit, I completely fell in love with Charley. His sweet nature and warm, friendly spirit filled me with joy.
The persecution of Mildred Dunlap is a tender story of love, friendship, gossip and betrayal. Even in the adverse circumstances, the main characters remain steadfast.
Paulette Mahurin's characters are well developed and defined. Each has a distinctive personality that conveys itself to the reader. No one character dominates the storyline – they all share the state, presenting different sides of the issue.
Set in turn of the century Nevada, the author has beautifully laid the scene, capturing the spirit of the times and the small town dynamic. It is a fitting backdrop for the events which follow.
The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap is a stunning book, appropriate for high school readers and older. In easy to digest terms, Paulette weaves a tapestry of Mildred's life, laying her soul bare. She tenderly examines Mildred's motivations as well as those of her enemy, town gossip – Josie.
I really enjoyed the Persecution of Mildred Dunlap. It was an excellent representation of true love.”
“I’ve been dying to get my eyes on the pages of this book. Being the good book reviewer that I am, I do what I can to keep everyone in proper order, but from time to time, a book really nags at me to pick it up.
When it finally came time to pick this book up, I did so, with relish, and devoured every page. I will admit, when I read the description, A Woman’s Brokeback Mountain, I was a little hesitant. In all honestly, I hated that story. It wasn’t the topic, as anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge LBGTQ advocate, but honestly, the Brokeback story was so two-dimensional. I found that I didn’t care about the characters and I so wanted to.
Luckily, with this book, I didn’t have that problem. I immediately fell in love with Mildred and Ezra. Their characters were so well defined, different but worked so well together. The story itself rushed along, not because of the story’s particular pacing, but because I didn’t want to stop turning pages.
The book touches on a subject that was sensitive for the time-period, but also sensitive now. With phrases like “war on marriage” and “keeping marriage traditional”, people tend to forget that there are actual human beings involved in this. People who just want to experience the same rights to love the people they love, regardless of sexual preference and gender.
This book does an amazing job of that. Of reminding us that people involved are human beings. They love and ache, hurt and bleed, they exist just as everyone exists.
I am happy to give this book a five of five stars. The writing is tight, if not a little sophomoric, but I found it fitting with the time period and the background of the characters. There wasn’t much, if anything, that drew me out of the story, and frankly, it was just wonderful. Regardless of your genre preference, you should pick up this book. It’s absolutely well worth it and I’m definitely looking forward to anything Paulette Mahurin puts out in the future.”
When Oscar Wilde was imprisoned, the gossips imprisoned within their own thoughts delighted in his every suffering. But there on the outskirts of a small American town, a wonderful woman called Mildred Dunlap lives alone with her sweet cousin Edra and only one bed. Generous to a fault, willing to help anyone no matter how little they think of her, Mildred suddenly fears what the townsfolk might do, and looks for a plan to hide her life’s “indiscretions” from public view.
Author Paulette Mahurin recreates small-town America convincingly, providing history to people and place, building believable inter-relationships, and revealing secrets in pleasingly genuine conversations. Beautifully researched, convincingly filled with an all too fallible population, this novel pulls the reader into a story filled with history and vivid reflections of the present.
Occasional comments seemed a little over-modern to me, but, having grown up in England, I’m probably not qualified to judge. The story certainly held my interest and kept me turning the pages eagerly. Intriguing, generous, though-provoking, and filled with beautiful descriptions, great quotes, and fascinating dialogues about prejudice, faith, hope and love, I really enjoyed this novel and heartily recommend it.
Disclosure: The author gave me a free ecopy of this novel.