Friday, July 9, 2010

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, by Jamie Ford is a light story that deals with a serious subject. It is told by Henry, a Chinese boy who falls for Keiko, a Japanese girl. Keiko and her family are “relocated” to an internment camp with the other Japanese living in the United States after the Pearl Harbor attack.

Henry tells his story both from his adolescent years and again as an adult. As a child, he deals with a strong-willed father who hates the Japanese and his caring and understanding, yet obedient, mother. Henry struggles to visit Keiko while she’s in the internment camp but they eventually lose track of each other. It tells his story of trying to find her again as an adult. The book definitely gives the reader a good history lesson but with a light and often sad storyline. It shows how many wore blinders when it came to the Japanese who were once their neighbors during the war years. The story also shows the Japanese-American’s point of view and living conditions in the camps.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is very informative but needs a bit more pizzazz to keep a reader’s interest.

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