The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap did not disappoint in any way. Set in 1895 in a small Nevadan town, Mildred and her cousin Edra had long ago realised their attraction to each other and as time had passed they had developed a deep and loving relationship, always cognisant of the effect such a relationship would have in their small town, should it ever become known.
Like all small towns Red River Pass was a hotbed of gossip, much of it generated from the telegrams from the outside world that would bring news and were posted on the public noticeboard outside the General Store. When news came of Oscar Wilde's conviction and imprisonment for homosexuality in England, tongues and minds turned to the evils and sins of same-sex relationships. For Mildred and Edra, they walked a very taut tightrope that threatened to drop them at any point. The pair had always shunned the local gossips, but when things get tight, it is often surprising where true friends and allies can emerge from.
What I've always loved about Mahurin's writings is her ability to weave true life events from the past into a fictional tale which conveys relevance to the happenings of the time. She has excelled at this in the past and does so again, here. Her messages of love, tolerance and understanding shine through her works and are as equally applicable (perhaps even more so) today as they were in 1895.
I don't know how I ever missed reading this before, but I am truly glad to have done so now. As a fellow author, I doff my cap to Mahurin, who shows me regularly what I could also be capable of. Having excellence to aim for is always a challenge and Mahurin always provide excellence in reading. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.