Nov 27

Book tour Book Review: The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap by Paulette Mahurin

persecution of mildred

Book Description

 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 dialogue in this story was so compelling.. I had to read it in one sitting. Mildred and Edra have a secret that consumes their lives trying to hide it. In the end it is friendship with an unlikely person that allows Mildred and Edra to be at peace.

Also very unique was the Oscar Wilde quotes at the beginning of each chapter. Rather enjoyed that feature.


Mildred was irritated as she rode back to her ranch. “How are we
ever going to work this out, Lil?” she mumbled to her painted horse.
“That man is not making this easy.”
She was annoyed with herself that she decided to help Charley but
did not know what else to do. She hated drawing attention to herself and
being subjected to ridicule. She looks and acts like a man. Look at that
receding hairline; she’s going bald. She’s a fat pig. Even worse, she
resented talk of her cousin, Edra. What a hermit. She’ll never get over
what happened to her. This she could not forgive. She knew that in
devising her plan she had to swallow all this and come across as credibly
as she could in showing an interest in Charley. Compared to the
alternative, of doing nothing and being found out, it was a small price
to pay.

The first and only no-kill animal shelter in Ventura County, Ca where
the author lives, the Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center: Paulette Mahurin

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 (screenwrite/playwrite 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 it’s 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 ebook, 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.

Buy  The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap at:


Find Paulette on:



Book’s website:


The first and only no-kill animal shelter in Ventura County, Ca where
the author lives, the Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center:


1 ping

    • Paulette on November 27, 2012 at 9:58 am
    • Reply

    Thank you so much for having me over to your great site, Susanne. It’s been such a pleasure working with you.


    1. Enjoyed reading your book Paulette. Your writing style with this book is so fluent and natural that I know you will have lots of book sales and success as an author. Looking forward to your next book. Happy Book Tour

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