Melissa Crytzer Fry'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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Apr 03, 11

Read in April, 2011

What a wonderful novel! This book, focused in WWII era Seattle – among the Chinese and Japanese districts of the city – has so much to offer. Chapters alternate between the main character’s youth and adulthood (1986), pulling readers into the story, endearing Henry even more. The prose is literary – gripping – filled with subtle symbolism, astute metaphors and realistic dialogue. You’ll be introduced to characters you don’t want to leave when the reading journey ends, as well as to sprinkles of American history woven with such grace that the “lessons” don’t feel like lessons at all. To those who know nothing of the Japanese internment camps in the United States, the story is an eye-opener.

This novel reveals the heartbreak of racial tension, as well as themes of displacement, imprisonment in all its various forms, and that age-old dilemma of belonging/fitting in faced by many. It’s a testament to the power of love, the possibility of second chances, and the individuality that we all have that makes us each special and worthy. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and recommend it wholeheartedly.
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