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

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Mar 01, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: historicalfiction, northwest, japanese_historical_fiction
Read 2 times. Last read September 27, 2009.

What an amazing and beautifully written book, about a Chinese-American boy's love for a Japanese-American girl during the World War II internment in Seattle/the Pacific Northwest.

I first heard about this book when Jamie Ford was interviewed on NPR earlier this year. At first I thought, "Okay, new book. Let's hear what the author says," then he mentioned that it was set in Seattle, and I was hooked. When he kept describing it, I was afraid the book would be overly-sentimental and preachy (two things I don't like in books), but the Seattle aspect won out and I put it on my to-read list.

Truly, this is a beautiful piece of historical fiction. As someone in love with Seattle, I was excited by the mentions of Seattle geography and by the evolution of Seattle history. As someone who has lived in the Seattle area all my life, I was intrigued by the description of the Japanese internment in Seattle, something not often talked about. Even without the Seattle connection, though, this is a wonderful story; it was just enhanced by me being able to think to myself, "Ooh, what's at that site now?"

This is a fabulous bit of storytelling. The characters are endearing, except Henry's father, who is the proper villain with good intentions; the events are stunning; and the overall plot is remarkable. Given both the subject matter and the writing style, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet seems to me to be a good companion to When the Emperor Was Divine. (And yes, there are some anachronisms along the way, but the story is too good to be given up on because of them.)
1 like · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

March 1, 2009 – Shelved
September 20, 2009 –
page 34
11.72% "Loving all of the Seattle references, history, and geography"
Started Reading
September 27, 2009 –
page 232
September 27, 2009 –
page 304
September 27, 2009 – Finished Reading
December 26, 2012 – Shelved (Paperback Edition)
February 21, 2013 – Started Reading (Paperback Edition)
February 22, 2013 –
0.0% "So excited to re-read this!" (Paperback Edition)
February 26, 2013 – Finished Reading (Paperback Edition)

No comments have been added yet.