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Monday, September 24, 2012

book both bitter and sweet by Heather

My newest favorite book is “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” by Jamie Ford.

The cover illustration of Ford’s debut novel was what initially intrigued me.  Once I began reading the story of Henry, a young Chinese American growing up in Seattle at the height of World War II, I knew this would be a heartwarming, sentimental journey. 

Henry falls in love with Keiko, a Japanese American, when they are school mates and thus begins a story of love, sacrifice, forgiveness, and honor.  Told in a poignant manner, the book follows Henry’s difficult relationship with his father, as well as his relationship with his first love, and then that of his own son.  It also follows characters through the internment camps in the United States.
A picture of a sign over the door of Japanese-American business placed there the day after Pearl Harbor.
The development of “Hotel” is extremely well done, and one can’t help but be touched as Henry’s story is told.  This book, although a work of fiction, is believable and thought provoking (I think it would make an excellent book club choice and we have this set as a kit).  Even though it is told from the perspective of years ago, it still is relevant to the world of today. 

I am grateful to have been able to read this wonderful book and was personally touched by Henry’s tender story.  Ford seems to truly have a gift for touching the reader’s heart in a powerful way.  If you read this book and love it, then consider some of the read-alikes such as:

·             SnowFalling on Cedars by David Guterson

·             SuchSweet Thunder by Vincent Carter

·             Whenthe Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka

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