Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap by Paulette Mahurin

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.

Set in the 1880s Nevada, The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap is about a lesbian couple earning their livelihood on a Nevada. They live quietly, happily, keeping to themselves. Then, Britain brought in a law that made homosexuality an illegal act and the famed Oscar Wilde was charged, convicted, and imprisoned, news set telegraph wires resounding through America.

Mildred Dunlap and her lover are terrified that attention and suspicion will now fall upon them. While they try to keep themselves inconspicuous, town gossips stir up terrible trouble. As suspicions grow worse, they are helped by someone who unexpectedly comes to their aid.

Written on every page are messages of true love, individual prejudices, odium, and the power of love to overcome. A pleasantly gripping story that definitely engaged me. I’m not surprised that there are so many 5 star reviews of this novel. It is definitely worth reading.

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