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Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
Author: Jamie Ford
Henry Lee is a 12-year-old Chinese boy who falls in love with Keiko Okabe, a 12-year-old Japanese girl, while they are scholarship students at a prestigious private school in World War II Seattle. Henry hides the relationship from his parents, who would disown him if they knew he had a Japanese friend. His father insists that Henry wear an "...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780345505347
ISBN-10: 0345505344
Publication Date: 11/24/2009
Pages: 304
Rating:
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 574

4 stars, based on 574 ratings
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 13
I loved reading this book. The story is interesting, and it's written in such a way that you get caught up in the story, not the writing. It feels as though someone is sitting with you and re-telling it. No flowery language, no dramatic descriptions that go on for paragraphs - just a straight explanation of feelings, places, people... It is wonderful.
reviewed Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet on + 108 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
This book was a wonderful mix of historical facts (the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII) and a very personal, poignant love story.

The story shifts between war-time Seattle in the 1940's and modern day Seattle. The main character has fallen in love with a girl of Japanese heritage. They pursue their star-crossed love and are faced with many unfair and dangerous obstacles.

I found this story very compelling and sad, but a great read. Bring the kleenex!
reviewed Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet on + 85 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
This is the story of Henry Lee (Chinese American) who meets Keiko Okabe (Japanese American) in 1942 in the Seattle WA area. The story is told in 1942 when Henry was a boy and 1986 after Henrys wife passes. The story involves family,friendships,schools, internment camps, jazz, Old World chinese culture, 2nd generation Americans, promises, and love. I enjoyed this book though I was disappointed with the ending
reviewed Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet on + 330 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
This incredibly sweet and touching novel brings an intimate look into the life of Henry Lee,a Chinese-American who one day witnesses a crowd outside the Panama Hotel. A hotel that once held so many memories for Henry. A hotel that now holds the memories of Japanese families that were interned during World War II.

When the belongings of Japanese families are found in the basement, Henry must go, he must find if there are any last treasures from his beloved Keiko. And in flashbacks and retrospect Henry tells the reader of his first love, of their challenges, of their hopes and dreams.

Young love plays out in the tumultuous days of the 1940's where Henry and Keiko meet in an exclusive elementary school, where white kids alternately ignore him and torment him. Where even if you are an American, you are treated differently because you don't look American. Where even your own family points fingers at those that look different, it doesn't matter that you were born on the same street, in the same hospital up on the hill, you are different and different isn't good. Different can hold you back and change your ways.

This is the difference that makes you choose what type of man you want to be, what you will hold on to and what you are willing to let go of. Though Henry's eyes, Jamie Ford introduces you to long remembered characters that show the reader the good in people, the strife that they must endure and the bitter sweet memories that build who they are. The is a novel that shouldn't be missed, a novel that leaves the reader hopeful that maybe there really is good that can come of out a dark time.
reviewed Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet on + 213 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
Every once in a while you come across an amazing, breathtaking book, this is one for me. I feel like i walked every step of the way right beside Henry.
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reviewed Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet on + 15 more book reviews
It took me awhile to get into this book but after the first few chapters, I really started caring about Henry and his family. The book jumps back and forth between Henry growing up during the 1940's (the war years)and a recent widower during the 1980's. Themes include coming of age, young romance story, mixed race communities and the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII.

I believe my children read this book during middle school. Adults will enjoy it, too.
reviewed Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet on + 4 more book reviews
Great story of the shameful internment of Japanese Americans during WWII. Touching and meaningful twist.
reviewed Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet on + 92 more book reviews
Moving account of Seattle in WWII and the internment of the Japanese from a Chinese boys vantage point. From anyone's it was cruel and unbelievable. A shame upon the US. But the story is uplifting and shows the true meaning of honor.

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