Robb Forman Dew, despite the name, is a female. She has written a number of books about female characters and she also wrote this book, Being Polite to Hitler. It is a good title and she probably had the title first along with the idea that some people are so worried about propriety that they would probably end up “being polite to Hitler.” This could have made for a great book had this been an important recurring theme in her novel, but it is not.
The story is about the Scofield’s of Washburn, Ohio and the matriarch of the Scofield’s who is named Agnes. The book is also about the 50’s with some appearances near the end of the book by issues from the 60’s, especially the Civil Rights’ Movement and the assassination of President Kennedy. The story will be most enjoyable to women of a certain age, but it is missing something too, which is an overall involvement of the reader in the story. You definitely feel that you are just reading about someone else’s life and it is perfectly pleasant and sometimes has complications, but it doesn’t really have a point or even any great effect on us emotionally.
This was not a book from my book list. I picked it up at the library in passing. I did not mind spending time with the Scofield’s but the book did not have that je ne sais quoi that a great book has.