10 October, 2012

#BookReview & #Giveaway :: The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap by Paulette Mahurin

The year 1895 was filled with memorable historical events: the Dreyfus Affair divided France; Booker T. Washington gave his Atlanta address; Richard Olney, United States Secretary of State, expanded the effects of the Monroe Doctrine in settling a boundary dispute between the United Kingdom and Venezuela; 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 by the news of Oscar Wilde’s imprisonment. It is a chronicle of hatred and prejudice with all its unintended and devastating consequences, and how love and friendship bring strength and healing.

The story is set in the late Nineteenth Century. The background is that of Oscar Wilde’s imprisonment for ‘gross indecency’. In those days, the government rule stated that gay sexual acts were a criminal offense. Set in a small Nevada town, the story focuses upon the reaction of people to this news. But then the town has its own secrets as well. Under the picture perfect fa├žade there’s domestic violence, sexual violence and incest. And amidst it all is our protagonist Mildred Dunlap. Blessed with power but cursed with a manly appearance, Mildred is generous at heart. But very few people bother to look beyond appearance. Mildred also has a secret – she is hopelessly in love with her cousin Edra. When the villagers are quick to react to Oscar Wilde incident, she is right to be worried. So, to keep herself from suspicion, she comes with an idea that that cultivates unexpected results.

First of all, I loved the author’s amazing capability to draw up her characters. She has created and developed each and every character with much care. So much so, that as a reader and loved, cheered, hated and felt a range of other emotions for and along with the characters in the book. The plot of the story is something that you cannot treat lightly. It deals with a lot of complicated issues – or rather should I say that it deals with the shades of human nature? Either way, Paulette has expertly dealt with a lot of grave issues in this book that made me stop and think too. Also, the way the book has been written – I mean the way the characters spoke or behaved, I did not have any trouble believing that the story was set so far back. I may not be an expert on that era, but when reading this book made me imagine in black and white, it just felt right.

But what saddened me the most is the realization that most of the issues depicted and discussed in this book are issues that we face even today. I mean haven’t we developed even a little bit in the last hundred years? I mean sure we have Cable TV, iPhone and Macbooks now. But as people, we are still the same - have not progressed at all.

Overall, great book and a must read – unless of course you’d rather stay away from the controversial stuff.

Ms.Paulette has kindly agreed to giveaway 2 Kindle copies of her book. So here's your chance to grab this awesome book for yourself! So, go ahead and enter in the rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you for this great review and opportunity to give thanks with this giveaway. Grateful for all help the book receives as profits are going to animal rescue. Paulette

  2. I wonder about human progression too. I think science has, but the human being--not so much.

  3. Hi!

    I just saw your post on Book Blogs and am now following you.
    I'm currently hosting a giveaway on my blog, and hope you can stop by, and enter my giveaway.
    You can find me at www.tyrony.com!


  4. unable to set up an act. with gfc as it will be discontinued....i can set up a google page (something like that), but this will not get me any more entries.....i am excited to read "The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap", and plan to get it even if i don't win it.....


  5. I'm very grateful for everyone who's entered the giveaway. Amazon has just ranked my book: #5 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Contemporary Fiction. All profits are going to animal rescue, the first an only no-kill shelter in Ventura County, CA, where I live. Every one who's supported the book has helped with the effort to get sad faces out of cages and wagging in their forever homes.

    A special thanks again, to Debdatta who does so much to help us indie authors.

  6. well written review response ~ appreciate the ability to recognize the similarity of times past with our own in spite of yrs intervening ...

  7. I would like to thank you so much for a fantasic book giveaway, that i would love to have the oportunity of reading! The blog post was really facinating and if i could ask the author one question it would be what writers/ authors have inspired her, to go ahead and write this remarkable book?

    Thank you x
    Email: lfountain1(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk

    1. Hello Miss. Lucinda Fountain and thank you for this great question. I've been inspired by many authors/writers from Steinbeck to many unknown and wonderful indie authors, but honestly what inspired this book came from life, and knowing a few people who have been in the closet, afraid to come out, and just be, who they are. I was working with a particular person who had been severely abused and was in the closet around the time when I took a writing class and when the teacher came in with a stack of photos and said write a ten minute mystery, the photo of two women dressed in circa twentieth century garb, screamed out to me lesbian couple afraid to be found out. That, combined with people I had been working with sparked the inspiration, but the flame burst forth when I started my research and came across Oscar Wilde's imprisonment. That really got to me and stayed with me throughout my writing. Here is one of the most prolific writers and talents of the 19th century, Wilde, thrown in prison for an injustice. It broke his spirit...terrible tragedy. I think suffering, whether ones own or another that move us, that we feel deeply, generats some of the best prose. Thank you again, for asking and your feedback. Paulette

    2. Thank you, Miss. Lucinda Fountain. Great Question. I've been inspired by a lot of things in my life, but the main inspiration for this story was Oscar Wilde's imprisonment,the injustice of being thrown in prison for loving another and wanting to be with that person, something as natural as breathing. His imprisonment was never far from my heart, while I wrote. I think suffering can inspire and motivate a lot of us to do things, such as write, or feed the homeless, or rescue a dog from a kill-shelter. It was certainly his suffering that deeply moved me and keep me at it. Thanks again, for the great question. Paulette

  8. Thanks for the great question, Miss. Lucinda fountain. I've been inspired by many writers from Steinbeck to a lot of unknown indie, but what inspired this novel was life, experiences I had with people in the closet and when I came to the point of sitting down and writing and doing my research it was Oscar Wilde's imprisonment, his being thrown in a hard labor prison camp for two years under terrible condition, this kept me inspired throughout the writing of the story. I never lost sight of his incarceration, sleeping on a hard wooden slab, walking a tread mill 6 hr/day, being deprived of pen and paper, fed watery portage, all like a concentration camp, and for what? He dared to be who he was and love who he loved. I think that a lot of inspiration to writers, and most of us in general, comes out of suffering, whether or own or another, and those feelings, those deep connections of empathy move us to do things, whether write a story, donate to a food bank, rescue a dog from a shelter, etc. and so it was his, Wilde's suffering, that I think was my main inspiration. Thanks again for the great question. Paulette