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

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
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's review
Jan 22, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction, non-western-culture, asian, latter-day-saint
Recommended to K. by: Ann Fox
Read in March, 2011

Ford writes a lovely, lyric love letter -- no a letter of apology -- from a Chinese boy to his Japanese schoolmate for his actions and inactions during the Japanese internment. It explores the complexities of race, heritage, patriotism and identity during the mid 1940s when loyalties were tested in dramatic ways. Set in Seattle in the Chinese nieghborhood with forays into the Japanese neighborhood and a Westcoast Jazz club for atmosphere. Ford takes his readers by the hand down winding streets and winding points of view. In a few chapters, we view life from within an internment camp.

I've been reading a lot of nonfiction, and this was a perfect palette cleanser. But it was not just lyric; it was also informative about a specific time and place in American history, and it serves as a great study for how tough times can cause people to cling to prejudice in fear or invite people to transcend differences.
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