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The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap: A Novel Kindle Edition
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The author gives us a glimpse of small town life near Nevada at the time of Wilde's conviction, and it's not pleasant to witness. We read how powerful spiteful unwarranted gossip can be, and how fast it can spread contaminating and infecting many of those who come into contact with it. Those who stand by and do nothing to prevent or stop such vileness are equally culpable. The tragedy is that we recognize that such ignorance, prejudice, bigotry, homophobia, racism, bullying, hatred, loathing, religious fervour and holier than thou attitudes, are not just confined to history, they are a modern day phenomenon too. Therein lies the book's power; it could just as easily be written about contemporary life. We humans have learned little wisdom with the passage of time. The author shows that unconditional love, tolerance and friendship is the only way to survive such an onslaught of viciousness and ignorance but it's easier said than done ~ and it does help that Mildred is wealthy.
There are elements of the book that disappoint ~ Mildred is shown as a stereotypical lesbian and the author goes to great lengths to ensure we realise she is tall and plain and manly and that men do not find her sexually attractive. And although her lover Edra is beautiful and feminine she is also stereotypical in that she has been psychologically damaged by a vicious rape that occurred in her younger life (which we are led to presume makes her afraid of all men in general.) It would have been preferable to show a more balanced view ~ shown that women can be beautiful, feminine, psychologically healthy and still be lesbian.
This book is painful reading since it highlights the weaknesses of mankind ~ just scrape below the veneer of civilization and you expose a brutish vile nature that is deeply shaming. I think this novel would make an excellent A-level text (I taught Advanced Level English Literature for over 10 years) since it covers so many relevant topics for students today. A worthy read and one you will ponder on well after you have turned the last page.
NB: I was delighted to read that proceeds from this book are earmarked for animal rescue. Thank you to the author.
This book is written by a talented author who defines relationships, and persecution based on those relationships which also involve the small mindedness of persons in the world - in the big picture and the small.
The story flowed very well, point of view shifts were clearly defined and the events of this book are completely conceivable.
I found it interesting that the beginning and the ending of this book started out with news' post of a man in England and that news crossed the ocean to America's soil. It goes to show how words are very powerful and actions based on words, whether truth or lies, can be deadly.
This tale goes into the presence of bullying due to a person's looks or their ability to stand apart from the popular crowd. When actions are shown to be generous, the persecution continues because she chooses to stand true to who she is.
Along the way, though, she finds friends where she did not think she had any; support when most needed and a heart full of love that finds strength to keep giving through the afflictions thrusts upon her.
This is a tale of strength, courage, valor, generosity and discovery. It is a tale completely worth reading!
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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