Monday, April 12, 2010

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Since this is the blog of a book addict I believe that I should tell you the latest and greatest reads I have come across. Henry Ford created a wonderful debut novel with his story Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. It tells the story of what happened to both the Japanese and the Chinese who lived Seattle durring WWII. I know that there are many many stories which are written in this time period and there are times when I need to take a break from them, but this offered a new and different perspective than what I have encountered.

As of yet I have not mastered the art of concise plot summary so here is one taken from

Henry Lee is still mourning the death of his wife when he learns that the belongings of Japanese Americans hidden in the basement of Seattle's Panama Hotel for decades have been discovered. Henry is drawn to the basement, and what he's searching for there opens a door he thought he had closed forever. The story switches back and forth between 1986 and the 1940s, when a 12-year-old Henry attending an American school (he's "scholarshipping" as his father likes to say) meets another international student working in the school kitchen. Keiko is Japanese American, the enemy according to Henry's father, but the two become best friends before her family is imprisoned in one of the relocation camps.

What I can tell you is why I loved it. As previously stated, I am very well read in regards to that era and hearing from an intelligent childs perspective can be quite thought provoking. Also this particular subject, the Japanese relocation camps, is one with which I was not too familiar. It makes me wonder what rights will people be willing to see taken away for the sake of freedom and safety? In my opinion, any book which makes you think and provokes questions is one that shouldn't be passed on.

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