Book Review - Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and SweetHotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was our book club selection this month. What a delightful and moving read!

Henry is a young Chinese-American living in San Francisco during WWII. His father hates the Japanese and wants Henry to grow up "American" so he sends him to the white school. Henry meets the Japanese Keiko at school and they become fast friends. Of course, that doesn't go over well at home.

This is a story about a period of American history that I'm embarrassed actually happened. The U.S. government sent thousands of Japanese-Americans to internment camps. Keiko and her family are sent there even though she and her father were both born in the U.S. What scares me is that I feel like we're not that much more enlightened today only we've replaced the Japanese with Muslims. Or, anyone remotely looking like a Muslim.

Ultimately, this is a love story between parents and children, friends and lovers. Ford goes back and forth between the war and 1986 and it made for an effective story.

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