by Jamie Ford

Reviewer Rating:


Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is a beautifully told story of one of America's most shameful times in history. It's told from the point of view of Henry, a young Chinese boy in Seattle at the onset of WWII who befriends a Japanese classmate named Keiko. As the Japanese begin to experience more and more fear and persecution, Henry's Chinese community either distances themselves to avoid the same treatment or supports it, feeling justified for the treatment Japan gave them back in Asia. Eventually many Japanese are moved to internment camps and Henry must figure out how, or if he can stay true to his friend.

The story is colorful, with scenes of the famous 1940's Seattle jazz scene, moments inside lively Japanese restaurants, glimpses into the tasty delicacies of Chinese dishes, and the blooms of first love. The characters are complex and, ultimately, lovable and I became emotionally involved enough to have a good cry as I wondered how my beloved friends could ever make it through. 

Without ever being preachy, this book makes the reader step back and think earnestly about what he or she would have done differently in the same situation. Very good read!

Check it out:


Post new comment