Saturday, October 23, 2010

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

This was a lovely book and another book of value for those who dare to look at some of the dark history of our country. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is set in Seattle, WA during WWII. The story gives a picture of what Japanese-Americans experienced during this time...the prejudice, the interment camps, the denial of civil rights simply based upon ancestry. It is a complicated issue, as we have experienced more recently since 9/11. How does a country have the faith that American citizens of specific ancestry or culture will not return in their loyalty to their "roots." It made me think, quite a bit, actually, about my own personal fears following 9/11 when I was on a plane or in other places with someone of Arabic background. "Is this person one of my enemies?"

I was also interested in the tie in the story of the Chinese history with the Japanese in this novel. I was made more aware of the ill feelings that Chinese people generally feel towards Japanese while I was in China. That is based on a long history of attack by Japan upon China. So, the age-old ill will is part of the conflict in this novel, as well.

The novel is engaging and interesting, although the plot was fairly predictable. Nonetheless, a book I would highly recommend to others to read.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that it was predictable, but I thought it was also beautifully written. I loved the characters of Henry and Keiko. I'm always interested in stories about the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II since my mother-in-law (who was about the same age as Keiko was) and her parents were among them. I look forward to reading more from Jamie Ford.