Laura de Leon'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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's review
May 16, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction, audiobook, mcbook, wwii, blogged

Maybe 4.5 stars.

This was a beautiful love story!

Henry was a boy torn between the Chinese world of his parents, and the
American world he was living in. His parents said they wanted him to be American, but none of them really understood what that meant, or what effect this would have on their relationship.

Through Henry's relationship with Keiko, the reader learns more about who Henry really is, even at that young age, but also gets a portrait of the complexity of living at that time-- the tensions between white and Asians, but also between those of Chinese and Japanese ancestry.

I particularly liked the different ways that we saw Henry-- As a young boy, as he grows up tremendously over the course of several years, as an older adult, but also through the eyes of his adult son, and through his actions towards others, particularly his friends.

The contrast between how his adult son sees him and how he sees himself was particularly enlightening, illustrating how he continued through his life to be torn between America and his father's world of China.

The lengths that young Henry went to in order to try to preserve his link with Keiko (and the naivete displayed in his plans) were touching. Everything that he lost during this time (and how it compared to all that Keiko lost) was thought provoking.

Most of all, the writing was always compelling, truly delivering Henry's story to the reader.

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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Holly Oh, this is a beautiful book! I'm glad you read it. It's not my usual book type but I really enjoyed it.

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