Sunday, January 26, 2014

Review: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Title Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
By Jamie Ford
Genre Adult contemporary
Pages 290
Recommended by Book club

First sentence Old Henry Lee stood transfixed by all the commotion at the Panama Hotel.

Jumping from Henry's present and past comes the story of a Chinese boy in America during the Japanese American interment. Henry's relationship with a Japanese girl is threatened when she and her family are taken away during the interment.

What is has going for it
Well, this one was an easy read. I was neither dying to pick it up nor dying to put it down. I guess what I mean was the story was interesting and engaging. I liked the romance aspect. I loved seeing the history unfold in such a bright, vibrant way and I liked a point and it is, after all, important to like the main character, wouldn't you say?

What's lacking
Honestly this one just felt slightly off. Slightly fake. Too convenient. I despised the fact the poor Ethel was settled for. This above everything else infuriated me. I also thought the whole internment thing was...I don't know, lacking in passion and sadness.

Favorite moment
When Keiko and Henry go to the jazz club.

Yea or Nay?
Personally I preferred the book Snow Falling On Ceders...if you want a book about the Japanese American Internment.


  1. We read this book as part of an All-County read and then Jamie Ford came and spoke at the finale event. I appreciated the book much more after listening to him speak.

  2. Well, I'm glad you mostly liked it! And yes, I agree with the above comment, hearing him speak was pretty cool.