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Reviewed by Kathryn Bennett for Readers' Favorite
"The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap" by Paulette Mahurin is an emotional story that shows just what effect hatred can have on not just one or two people but on an entire community. Paulette Mahurin writes a novel that will leave you emotionally involved with each character. The story takes place in the year 1895. Mildred is a very wealthy woman who took in her cousin Edra. The two women become more than cousins and roommates and find happiness in being lovers. However, the happy ground they found is threatened when a ruling from England is heard in town. This new ruling causes Mildred to look for a way to bring the attention away from the fact that two unmarried women live in the same house. She thinks she finds the solution but as with any good story the road is not an easy one.
What really rings sad to me is that many of the same issues that come about in this novel have not changed much. There is still such a terrible stigma for those who are in a gay or lesbian relationship. Now of course in a modern age in the United States you won't have judgments like the one passed on Oscar Wilde for "gross indecency". I loved that Paulette used the "gross indecency" ruling as the main catalyst to get things started in the book. The writing is well done as is the editing. My only complaint is that to me Mildred seems very stereotypical. I enjoyed the character as a whole and the story kept me emotionally involved, as I was still drawn into the conflict and emotions that the characters were going through. The setting and time period have been well-researched and add to the enjoyment when reading this book. I think anyone who wants to learn more about this particular kind of conflict even on a fiction level would enjoy this book.