Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford Paperback Book

Details

Rent Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Author: Jamie Ford

Format: Quality Paperback, Unabridged-CD

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Published: Oct 2009

Genre: Fiction - Historical - General

Retail Price: $17.00

Pages: 320

Synopsis

Sentimental, heartfelt... the exploration of Henry's changing relationship with his family and with Keiko will keep most readers turning pages...A timely debut that not only reminds readers of a shameful episode in American history, but cautions us to examine the present and take heed we don't repeat those injustices.'-- Kirkus Reviews

'A tender and satisfying novel set in a time and a place lost forever, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet gives us a glimpse of the damage that is caused by war--not the sweeping damage of the battlefield, but the cold, cruel damage to the hearts and humanity of individual people. Especially relevant in today's world, this is a beautifully written book that will make you think. And, more importantly, it will make you feel.'
-- Garth Stein, New York Times bestselling author of The Art of Racing in the Rain

'Jamie Ford's first novel explores the age-old conflicts between father and son, the beauty and sadness of what happened to Japanese Americans in the Seattle area during World War II, and the depths and longing of deep-heart love. An impressive, bitter, and sweet debut.'
-- Lisa See, bestselling author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan


In the opening pages of Jamie Ford's stunning debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Henry Lee comes upon a crowd gathered outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle's Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has made an incredible discovery: the belongings of Japanese families, left when they were rounded up and sent to internment camps during World War II. As Henry looks on, the owner opens a Japanese parasol.

This simple act takes old Henry Lee back to the 1940s, at the height of the war, when young Henry's world is a jumble of confusion and excitement, and to his father, who is obsessed with the war in China and having Henry grow up American. While 'scholarshipping' at the exclusive Rainier Elementary, where the white kids ignore him, Henry meets Keiko Okabe, a young Japanese American student. Amid the chaos of blackouts, curfews, and FBI raids, Henry and Keiko forge a bond of friendship–and innocent love–that transcends the long-standing prejudices of their Old World ancestors. And after Keiko and her family are swept up in the evacuations to the internment camps, she and Henry are left only with the hope that the war will end, and that their promise to each other will be kept.

Forty years later, Henry Lee is certain that the parasol belonged to Keiko. In the hotel's dark dusty basement he begins looking for signs of the Okabe family's belongings and for a long-lost object whose value he cannot begin to measure. Now a widower, Henry is still trying to find his voice–words that might explain the actions of his nationalistic father; words that might bridge the gap between him and his modern, Chinese American son; words that might help him confront the choices he made many years ago.

Set during one of the most conflicted and volatile times in American history, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is an extraordinary story of commitment and enduring hope. In Henry and Keiko, Jamie Ford has created an unforgettable duo whose story teaches us of the power of forgiveness and the human heart.


From the Hardcover edition.

View descriptions at Amazon.com

Recommended

A Reliable Wife
by Robert Goolrick

Rural Wisconsin, 1909. In the bitter cold, Ralph Truitt, a successful businessman, stands alone on a train platform waiting for the woman who answered...

The Thirteenth Tale
by Diane Setterfield

Settle down to enjoy a rousing good ghost story with Diane Setterfield's debut novel, The Thirteenth Tale. Setterfield has rejuvenated the genre with...

The Light Between Oceans:...
by M. L. Stedman

AFTER FOUR HARROWING YEARS ON THE WESTERN Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly...

The Other Queen
by Philippa Gregory

This dazzling novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory presents a new and unique view of one of history's most intriguing,...

Year of Wonders
by Geraldine Brooks

Young Anna Frith, a vicar's maid, is faced with the loss of her family, the disintegration of her local community, and a passionate, illicit love as...

The House at Riverton
by Kate Morton

The House at Riverton is a gorgeous debut novel set in England between the wars. It is the story of an aristocratic family, a house, a mysterious...

March
by Geraldine Brooks

Geraldine Brooks takes a very minor character from Louisa May Alcott’s LITTLE WOMEN--Mr. March, the girls’ preacher father--and makes him...

The Kitchen House
by Kathleen Grissom

Gone with the Wind is turned inside out in this tragic, page-turning novel in which a white indentured servant girl lives and works with black...

Sarah's Key
by Tatiana De Rosnay

Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is brutally arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel' d'Hiv' roundup, but not before she...

Reviews

BookLender review by Mary Lou on 2012-01-16 14:30:47

Having lived through WWII as a young midwestern girl,this book was reminder of a time in history that was especially stressful. I had friends and family members who served in the military during that time. The incarceration of Japanese who were born and raised in this country and deprived of their property and possessions was surely not right, but at the time, our government had no way of knowing if their loyalties were for us or them. It seems nothing is fair where war is concerned. Sad story, but beautiful love story, with the wonderful ending.

BookLender review by Carol on 2010-06-02 16:56:48

Fabulous fast read that I thoroughly enjoyed!