Tuesday, October 5, 2010

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

If this isn't an eye opening book, I don't know what is.

This is a story of a 1st generation Chinese American boy named Henry in 1942 Seattle. During World War II his father wants to ensure no one confuses him for the ostracized Japanese and sends his son to an all white school with an "I Am Chinese" button on his clothing. There he meets 2nd generation Japanese American girl named Keiko. Though Henry's father has a passionate hatred for the Japanese, Henry develops a sweet, deep and secretive friendship with her.

Then the president of the USA signs an executive order to round up Japanese Americans and "evacuate" them to internment camps across the western half of the United States. Henry must come to grips with losing his new best friend while trying to understand why or how such an appalling act could be happening to the Japanese Americans.

This book was certainly an eye opener as I already stated. I had heard of internment camps for the Japanese, but so very little of it. The author clearly stated at the end of this book he had no intention of laying blame on anyone or to sway the reader to sympathy either. He did a remarkable job of simply stating what happened with no political jabs. He tells a beautiful story of friendship and life during those difficult times. I can tell you this book has certainly inspired me to learn more on this topic.

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