Jen C (ReadinginWBL)'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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Oct 24, 11

bookshelves: audio-books, book-group, 2011-read-in
Read from May 02 to 20, 2011

I read this book for my book group: Wine, Women and Words. Unfortunately, due to a scheduling conflict we had to cancel group, but we hope to discuss this book in June along with our next book.

The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet went along at good pace and kept my interest. I enjoy historical fiction and like to research the events during that time in history. I felt the portrayal of the Japanese families evacuation to the internment camps was realistic. Ford did a good job of portraying the emotions and fear of the Japanese families. Many things in The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet made me sad, the evacuations to the camps, Henry’s relationship with his father and the button that said “I am Chinese”. I had an emotional reaction to the button. How could one little button make the difference in identifying a child a friend or enemy of America.

I loved the character of Keiko, her kind heart and spirit. Despite that Keiko was an American born person of Japanese heritage she and her family were treat as enemies of America. That was very hard to understand. In my research I came to the conclusion that the treatment of the Japanese in the camps were a lot worse than described in this book. To me the young Henry from 1942 seemed very mature. I am not sure if that was oversight by the author or if in that time and circumstances the Chinese and Japanese child had no choice but to be very mature due to the things happening in their lives. At times, I admired Henry Lee and his dedication to Keiko and his wife, Ethel, other times I just wished he would go find Keiko already. How could he have waited so long??

Themes in The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.include: male relationships and their difficulty, fear, prejudice, lasting friendship and the dedication to one’s wife.

In honesty, I must say I enjoyed The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, but thought I would devour it in no time after all the rave reviews I had read about it. I did not find this to be the case. I was not satisfied with the ending of The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. I was not ready for Henry’s journey to end without more detail. I was left wanting more.

My Rating: 3/ 5 – Good read – I would recommend to others. I was able to put The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet down each night to fall asleep.
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Reading Progress

05/10/2011 "Starting listening to this audio."
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