From the Bookshelf of Crazy Challenge Connection

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
by
Start date
May 1, 2012
Finish date
May 31, 2012
Why we're reading this
Book of the Month - May 2012
Discussion to follow in June 2012
Discussion Leader: Mibelle

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What Members Thought

Book Concierge
3.5***

Henry Lee, a 12-year-old Chinese American, has only one friend at Rainier elementary school in 1942 Seattle. She is his fellow cafeteria worker/scholarship student – Keiko Okabe – a second-generation Japanese American. The events of World War II will greatly affect these two young people, on the cusp between childhood friendship and teenage love. Fast forward to 1986 Seattle, where Henry has recently lost his wife, Ethel, to cancer. When the Panama Hotel’s new owner begins renovations to r
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Suzanne
Feb 18, 2011 Suzanne rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Color My Palette Challenge - Golden Glow
Recommended to Suzanne by: RBC - Feb 2011
I really want to say this book was bittersweet, but given the title that would be too easy. The story was heart-renderingly tender and poignant. I knew that nearly all Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps during WWII, but I got a deeper glimpse into this travesty through the Okabe family's story. You sort of know how the story is going to go, yet at some point you just let yourself get lost in it and surrender your emotions. The looking at the past from the present narrative seemed e ...more
Talia
Just as the title states, this is a bitter sweet story. When an abandoned hotel is Seattle is re-opened and a treasure trove of old items from the Japanese families interned are found in the basement, Henry Lee (Chinese) starts searching for an item that evokes numerous bitter sweet memories of his unlikely friendship with Keiko (Japanese). Their friendship is tested by family and racial tensions, as well as distance when Keiko and her family are relocated to an internment camp in Idaho. Such a ...more
Jenny
This was good. Didn't go as fast as I thought it would. It was a bit hard reading because it was kind of sad. I felt bad that he never really had anyone growing up. Family wasn't there and no friends other than Keiko and Sheldon. Very lonely.
Kimberly
I usually don't read historical fictions, but I'm so glad I read this one! The writing was captivating and the story was sweet. I learned several facts about the Japanese internment camps across the US and even did some additional research online looking up places and people mentioned in the book. The characters are definitely going to stick with me for awhile! I didn't want the book to end.
Annika
Absolutely loved this!
Melike
Nov 27, 2014 Melike marked it as to-read
Carrie
Oct 18, 2012 Carrie marked it as wishlist
Jenny
Aug 05, 2012 Jenny marked it as to-read
Kim DeCina
Feb 14, 2013 Kim DeCina marked it as to-read
Audrey
Jan 22, 2012 Audrey marked it as to-read
Minttu
Nov 18, 2011 Minttu marked it as to-read
Nicole
Jul 21, 2011 Nicole marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Khim
Jun 23, 2011 Khim marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Martha
Feb 17, 2011 Martha marked it as to-read
Kayla
Mar 07, 2014 Kayla marked it as to-read
Erin Carney
Feb 11, 2011 Erin Carney marked it as to-read
Mary Taylor
Apr 29, 2014 Mary Taylor marked it as to-read
Amelia
Dec 19, 2014 Amelia marked it as to-read
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