Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

I've had this book on my list of books I've wanted to read for quite some time now. I tried to get my book club to read it but didn't have enough takers, so I put it on hold in digital form at my local library and figured I'd read it whenever I came across it. Well, as these things happen, I ended up with two hard copy and 2 digital books all on hold ready within the same two week period. I was a reading fool for those two weeks and managed to get three of the four read before I had to return them. (They were all 2 week loaners). It helped that all three were excellent books. The other two were "The Best of Me" by Nicholas Sparks  and "The Christmas Wedding" by James Patterson. Both were typical to those writers, but were enjoyable to read.

This one, on the other hand, was one of the best books I've ever read. Seriously. "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" by Jamie Ford is one of those books that stays with you even after you put it down. The story flips back and forth between present time and the 1940's and focuses on Henry Lee, an American of Chinese decent.  Henry is a preteen living in Seattle at the height of the war in the 1940's who ends up befriending a Japanese girl named Keiko, despite his family's prejudices against the Japanese. Present day Henry Lee is a widower trying to reconcile his feelings about the past, his wife's death and his son.

Henry is a very likable character and I really enjoyed reading about the history of the 1940's in the Seattle area. This novel speaks of hope, love, patriotism and prejudice. I think it is a must-read, a definite 5 star.

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