I have been a big fan of Binnie Kirshenbaum since I read “A Disturbance in One Place.” I found that book well written, captivating and definitely worth reading. I followed up that book with her “History on a Personal Note” and “Pure Poetry.” These are all reviewed in this blog. However, I cannot recommend “Hester Among the Ruins.”"Hester Among the Ruins” is remarkably boring. It is a story of a New Yorker who decides to write about the history of World War II and the Nazis by examining the life story of a German professor.

She quickly becomes his mistress and her curiosity is more about him than the history of the Nazis and Jews. I found the story line tedious, predictable and not worth the time. There are quotes from other books and from the narrator’s notes interspersed throughout the chapters. These are not helpful and tend to make your mind wander off and wonder why they were inserted at all.

Here is a quote from the book: “It is too easy to dismiss him as a mere womanizer, a cad. It is too easy, and it is wrong. It, he, is more complicated than that. All these women, he loved them. Still does love them in a fashion of his own. He needs them, appreciates them, adores them all. He is genuine, and who can fully resist being loved, which is, of course, why he is successful.” This quote is about as interesting as it gets.

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