Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is by Jamie Ford. This story moves between two time periods, Seattle of 1945 and Seattle of 1986. Henry is a young Chinese boy who has a scholarship to an American school. There he meets Keiko, another scholarship student, who happens to be Japanese. As their friendship blossoms into something more, Henry finds himself struggling against his father's prejudice against anything Japanese. When Keiko and her family are removed to an internment camp their relationship would appear to be at an end. Forty years later the possessions left behind by Japanese families are found in a local hotel by the new owner and Henry, whose wife has recently died and who is struggling with his relationship with his own son, is drawn to seek for a special reminder of his relationship with Keiko which has haunted him for forty years. A charming tale of love lost and found, the effects of prejudice, and father's relationships with their sons set against the background and turmoil of WWII. This story reminds me of Snow Falling on Cedars, but this is an easier read, if not as poignant.

Ratings: 9th grade - 9 out of 10 - AC (some mature thematic content).

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