Kathleen Kelley

Has anyone who has read this book also read Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet? This sounds like a similar story...just wondering if it is?

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Natalie I loved Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet but did not like this one much at all. I thought it had too many smaller, unrelated plots (such as child pornography and the AIDS epidemic of the 80"s) and the characters just floated through life without much depth.
Don Fitzsimons I've read both. The historical circumstance of the internment of Japanese in the US during WW II is the same vehicle for heroic struggle. I preferred Ford's melodramatic account. His style might be awkwardly sentimental at times, but it also fleshed out character actions and settings. I was moved regardless of my awareness of the obvious emotional manipulation. Allende's style, in comparison, is a Bowdlerized paperback romance, delivered with competent dryness.

I agree with Natalie.
Jeannie I was also reminded of The Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, and I also thought The Hotel was a much deeper treatment of a similar story.
Nan Williams They obviously used the same source material. Exactly the same scenes and problems in the camp.

I loved the "Hotel ...", but not this one.
Lisa Yes, it includes the internment of Japanese, this time from San Francisco. That is just the beginning of the incredible cast of characters Allende has assembled in this captivating novel. If you liked Hotel, you will love this.
Sandi I am also going to agree with Natalie. I loved Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. That beautifully detailed a similar historical period but with much fuller formed characters in the central love story that really engaged you. As I wrote in my review , I felt we lost the title character, the Japanese Lover, once he became an adult so I felt it was harder to connect with that love story, which is just the opposite with Hotel....
Sarah I would recommend Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet over this book, it is far more engrossing and, in my opinion, a "better read". The story line is more captivating and while I enjoyed The Japanese Lover, this book just did not capture me the way the other books written by Isabele Allende. She remains one of my favorite authors, though, and I recommend this book, but suggest Hotel over this book (if you have to pick one!)
Edie I just finished reading the Japanese lover and agree with most I liked the Corner of Bitter and Sweet much better. have read other books by Allende and expected something better
Linda Holm I loved Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet! I can't wait to read this one!
Joanne Rodgers I liked the Corner of Bitter and Sweet so much I read it again several years later. Just read The Japanese Lover and although I liked it, I preferred Corner of Bitter and Sweet. I agree with Natalie's comment.
Chrissy My thoughts exactly! Haven't read this one yet though
MomToKippy Wow, it sure does!
Carli I do not think this book was like Hotel on the Corner of Bitter & Sweet.
Yes, Japanese interment was a part of the story line in this book, but it was a small part of the story. The Japanese Internment is a part of our history, there are many, many stories to be told. This book bears no resemblance.
Cynthia Miller Thanks for mentioning Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. Because of your comment, I am reading it now. Love it! and it is totally what I was looking for in historical fiction of the internment camp info. I agree with Don Fitzsimons' assessment, "Bowdlerized paperback romance, delivered with competent dryness."
Debbie I thought they were similar given the subject matter. An historical love story. Japanese Lover had many sub plots though. Maybe too many!
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Sharon Johnson Corner of Bitter and Sweet is a favorite book of mine. Similarities sort of with the Internment, World War II. I am just 67 pages in, so I cannot compare yet.
Laura Both books include parts about the Japanese internment. However, "Hotel" is focused on the Japanese internment, while "Japanese Lover" uses it as one of many plot devices. I would not recommend this book as a way to read about the Japanese internment. "Hotel" is a good start, but I didn't find the writing exceptional. I would recommend "Nisei Girl" and the wonderful young adult book "Paper Wishes." "Sylvia and Aki" is also a great young adult book that connects the Japanese internment with the segregation of and discrimination against Latinos during the same time period. "Nisei Girl" is a memoir and "Sylvia and Aki" is based on a true story.
Pat Yes, I agree, in many ways it had a similar theme. But I have enjoyed both of them.
Blythe I have read and liked both but preferred Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. I think it was ultimately a richer story. I recommended Hotel to several people
Michelle Goerks It is similar to the Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, but with more twists. I loved the Hotel book so much!
Assia Same here. In my blog post bit I inserted Ford's book where I say 'if you liked this then you'll like this'. They match in interesting ways. I think that one can really feel the difference in the writing, as in, Ford's book has more of a male structure and style that focuses on historical events while Allende's tends to be more romantic and less rigid in its flow and hence more feminine. Despite being against gender stereotypes that's the first difference that pops up in my mind. I loved both, read Allende's more quickly but found Ford's to be historically more accurate and slightly more elaborate in its style and details. What did you think?
Mindy Yes, I read Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet and loved it, too. But, I enjoyed this one better, though. They are somewhat the same but different in that Hotel focuses more on the Japanese internment campus and this one covers several other themes.
Janice The Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is one of my favorite books. It is warm, engaging and endearing. By comparison, I found The Japanese Lover contrived, stilted and very much chic lit. I abandoned it almost immediately.
Melody Smith I too read Hotel and loved it. I am not quite finished with this one but agree that it is scattered (so far). "Dryness" is a good adjective to describe this.
Charlene Very similar story, but I liked "Hotel" better. I thought there was so much "telling" in "Japanese Lover" and not much "showing." Disappointed.
Susan Yes, yes, The Corner of Bitter and Sweethe was the book I thought about the entire time l was reading this book. I cant imagine that the author read that book and went on to write the Japanese Lover. Sure the similarities will continue to point out in reviews.
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by Isabel Allende (Goodreads Author)
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