Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

by Jamie Ford

Rated PG

This novel could be described in many ways: as an exposition of the difficulties faced by Asian immigrants living out World War II  in the United States, an exploration of the dynamics of father-son relationships, or a "road not taken" tale, but I think it's best described as a love story.

Henry Lee lost his heart to Keiko when he was just a boy, but during the time of WWII, it was unthinkable for a boy of Chinese descent to love a Japanese girl, although both children were born and raised in America.

When Keiko and her family are shipped off to an internment camp, Henry believes he has lost her forever. Then one day, 40 years later, a parasol is found in the basement of an old hotel, a reminder of times past that forces Henry to examine feelings he buried deeply decades ago.

I love the integrity of the characters in this story, and it truly is a novel both bitter and sweet. One of my new favorites!

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