Alison's Reviews > Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
May 13, 2010

really liked it
Recommended to Alison by: Sarah
Recommended for: interested in the Japanese-American internment; interested in a sweet story
Read from April 28 to May 06, 2010 , read count: 1

"Japanese-American internment was the forced relocation and internment by the United States government in 1942 of approximately 110,000 Japanese Americans and Japanese residing along the Pacific coast of the United States to camps called "War Relocation Camps," in the wake of Imperial Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor..."

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is a bitter and sweet story about a young Chinese-American growing up in Seattle during the wake of World War II, and his friendship/courtship of a young Japanese-American girl whose family is sent to live in a "war relocation camp" on the mandate of President Franklin Roosevelt.

This is their story, and the story of how Japanese-Americans, some of whom had never even been to Japan, were seen as such a threat to national security that they were forced to leave their homes and their possessions, and move into holding areas characterized by armed guards, open toilets, poor acess to quality food and medical care, extreme weather conditions, and other indignities.

This is also the story of the friendship that sprung up between the young boy and an African-American jazz musician that replaced the non-existent bond of loyalty and support that should have been between the boy and his stern, closed-minded father.

This story is particularly provactive for me because, as an American, I certainly want to and DO feel that we are "the good guys." However, we have to be cautious when it comes to civil rights, as history does tend to repeat itself. We are all Americans despite our differences and we have to continue to look out for the rights of each other. I know this gets complicated in the face of something as horrific as the war on terror, but I still think that part of the fight is to not let the "bad apples"* tear down the strength and support that we should have for one another as fellow countrymen. I think a crucial part of the "American Experiment" is figuring out how to remain united, despite being a melting pot.

*I stole "bad apple" from Sera. :)

2 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.