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Being polite to Hitler
Dew, Robb Forman.
Adult Fiction DEW

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From Publishers' Weekly:

National Book Award-winner Dew wraps up the trilogy she began with The Evidence Against Her by considering, in ways both joyful and elegiac, the juxtaposition of the profound and the mundane through the years 1953 to 1973 in smalltown Washburn, Ohio. Long-widowed schoolteacher Agnes Scofield, 54, reflects on her identity against the distant backdrop of polio scares, epic baseball games, nuclear threats, the space race, and civil rights strife, as everyday life in Washburn continues unabated. Prompted by a health scare and by passions and desires in her own and her children's lives, Agnes must decide whether to perpetuate convention or to choose the change swirling all around her, to embrace a "season of carelessness": what about that much younger suitor? Agnes is clearly a literary heir of Mrs. Ramsay, and the narrative, ranging freely not only among Agnes's sprawling family but also throughout her political and cultural milieu, owes a debt to Woolf. Particularly when read in conjunction with her other novels about Washburn, Dew's latest is an impressionistic portrait of a family and an age striving for clarity and understanding. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

In her third book centered on Agnes Scofield of Washburn, OH, following 2001's The Evidence Against Her and 2005's The Truth of the Matter, Dew brings her readers into post-World War II small-town America via the lives of Agnes and the friends and family who look to her to anchor their own unsettled lives. It is now 1953, and Agnes, widowed and in her early fifties, has had it with teaching third graders. Her offspring (including a much younger brother raised as her son) and their children are trying to find their way in a country on the verge of unprecedented change. The need to hide their troubled marriages, alcoholism, and plain old crankiness under a veneer of civilized behavior is at odds with the nation's increasing political upheaval. As the Fifties turn into the Sixties and push through to the Seventies, Agnes and Sam, her much younger, lovely second husband, scout the way forward. VERDICT National Book Award winner Dew (for Dale Loves Sophie to Death) uses her signature elegant and often delightfully funny style to move seamlessly back and forth between the macro- and microcosm of the new America. Her latest should generate demand for the first two series titles as well. [See "Prepub Exploded," BookSmack!, 7/10.]-Beth E. Andersen, Ann Arbor Dist. Lib., MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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