Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
And so we travel back in time to 1942 when Henry, then 12, has as his only friends Sheldon, a black jazz musician, and Keiko, a lovely young Japanese-American girl. Keiko and Henry are thrown together as outcasts in an all-Caucasian school. But Keiko is also treated as an outcast by Henry's own family: Henry's Chinese-American father hates all things—and all persons—Japanese.
Henry and Keiko's friendship blossoms into love, but eventually the two are separated when Japanese-Americans are rounded up and sent to an internment camp. Forty years later, with his wife Edith gone, Henry embarks on a search for a treasured memento that could connect him with Keiko and Sheldon.
Hotel is Jamie Ford's first novel: it is charming, beautifully written, and offers a personal, albeit fictional, record of Japanese-American internment during the World War II years. This is a terrific book club read.
See our Reading Guide for Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.
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