I recently read Paulette Mahurin's novel The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap. It is brilliantly written making the reader feel what each character is experiencing. It carries the reader along and literally made me want to scream at a couple of people.
Having experienced unwarranted persecution myself, I could easily relate to Mildred and Edra in the novel. They are two ladies who have never lifted one finger to harm anyone in the town; yet, become the brunt of the town's gossip as the world spins over the discovery that Oscar Wilde is gay. These people have nothing better to do with their time than point their finger at other people. How easily the gossips forget that when one points a finger at someone they still have 3 fingers stubbornly continuing to point at themselves.
Just like anyone else who is a bully, these gossips are unrelenting, cold hearted dumbos. They know they are hurting Mildred and Edra and relish the very thought of their discomfort. While the town people know this behaviour of the gossips is wrong, they refuse to step up to stop it. They don't want to become the object of that kind of attention.
This is just one of the elements that makes this novel very relevant today. There are still gossips running rampant, not caring who they hurt and very few people will stand up to them. This is very sad that innocent people continue to be put down and have their lives ruined just because someone else needs a boost to their own self-esteem and they are too dang lazy to create their own life. These gossips are so afraid someone will see all of their own flaws that they run around pointing out the supposed flaws of everyone else.
As I watch the news, sometimes I think there is even more persecution today. If I've learned one thing from my own persecution it's exactly what Mildred and Edra learn in Mahurin's excellent novel. While it's great to make new friends, ultimately, you are your own hero. You are your own knight and have to find your own white horse to ride upon.
Excellent novel. Look for an interview with this wonderful author starting tomorrow!