Thursday, October 20, 2011
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
That is the backdrop for this book, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. It is a lesson in American history, but more than that, it is a love story between a Chinese-American boy named Henry and a Japanese-American girl named Keiko.
They become friends at school in Seattle just prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Their budding romance is threatened when Keiko and her family are suddenly whisked away to an internment camp. Henry finds a way to visit Keiko until she is moved further inland to Idaho. After that, he visits once and promises to never forget her. He doesn't understand why Keiko stops writing since he writes to her faithfully. Later he finds out that his father, who is vehemently against the Japanese, has been stopping delivery of his letters.
Half of the story takes place in 1986 just after Henry's wife, Ethel dies of lung cancer, and the other half of the story is set between 1942-1945.
I loved this book. I cried at the ending. I highly recommend it!