From the Bookshelf of Crazy Challenge Connection

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
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

This book is very enjoyable for what it is. It isn't an exceptionally well written novel, or one that delves deeply into the issues or history that are the backdrop to the story, but the plot was extremely satisfying.

There are two timelines to the novel: the "present" (set in 1986) and the past, set between 1942 and 1945. The novel follows Henry, a first-generation Chinese boy in Seattle, who meets Keiko, a second-generation Japanese girl, at an otherwise all-white school. The two become friend
Book Concierge

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
Jan 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Nancy Brady
The Panama Hotel is at the junction of Japantown and Chinatown, at the junction of friendship and love, and at the junction of family and friend--and its renovation forty years later leads Henry to revisit the World War II years in Seattle and his friendships (with Sheldon and Keiko) and family relationships (with his father and mother and his son).

Overall, a wonderful historical novel with a few anachronisms regarding the Internet, but otherwise, worth the read.
Jun 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Henry is the only Chinese student at an all white school during world war II when Keiko, a Japanese girl, begins attending the school. Keiko and Henry develop a friendship that blossoms into more even though Henry's dad hates the Japanese. Henry and Keiko's relationship is tested when the Japanese are rounded up and sent to resettlement camps. A beautiful book about the lasting power of love.
Jun 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, read-2014
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.
Dec 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved this!
Aug 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
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Kim DeCina
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Amanda R
Jan 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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Jul 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Nov 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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Lyn (Readinghearts)
Mar 13, 2011 marked it as to-read-mine
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Feb 17, 2011 marked it as to-read
Erin Carney
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Oct 31, 2017 marked it as to-read
Shelves: a-conseguir
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