Fiction Book Reviews

Book Review: Being Polite to Hitler

By Sandy Amazeen Nov 13, 2010, 5:54 GMT

Book Review: Being Polite to Hitler

After teaching and raising her family for most of her life, Agnes Scofield realizes that she is truly weary of the routine her life has become. But how, at 51, can she establish an identity apart from what has so long defined her? Often eloquent, sometimes blunt, and always full of fire, The Scofield clan is not a family that keeps its opinions to itself. As ...more

Fifty-four year old Agnes Scofield comes to the realization that she is tired of being a grade school teacher, tired of always doing what is expected of her, tired of rooting for a losing baseball team and just plain tired. Washburn, Ohio is so much the picture perfect ideal of small town America that it has attracted well-intended but rather obtuse documentary filmmaker Julian Brightman to feature it in his latest work. However, beneath that seemingly serene exterior lays a community attempting to come to terms with polio, the increasing fears perpetrated by the emerging nuclear age, a space race and the civil rights movement. Throughout it all, Agnes must reexamine her goals, family ties and loves in order to come to a decision about what direction the rest of her life should take.

Warm, engaging and thoughtfully told, this is a charming snapshot not only of a small town family but also of the country struggling to find its place within changing times. Finely nuanced, Dew takes readers back to a slower, simpler time yet even then, growing up and making difficult choices was no easier then it is now.

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