Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Book Review: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
Ok so now on to the review! Jamie Ford's novel Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet (HonCoBaS) is my first book of 2011 and the selection for my January book club! I really enjoyed this book, even if it did result in a sobbing mess this weekend! I will explain.
HonCoBaS is set in 1986 Seattle with flashbacks beginning with 1942's Japanese-American internment. Henry is a Chinese American who is reflecting on his childhood friendship with Keiko a Japanese girl who is sent to the internment camps, as well as his complex relationship with his father, who vehemently disapproves of this relationship. As a Chinese man, his father views all Japanese as his own personal end. In 1986,Henry's wife has recently passed away and he has always relied on her to communicate with his son. Henry begins to share this part of his history with his son and his new fiance. Ford effortlessly switches between time periods, helping us to understand a very interesting part of American history and how it may have touched individuals. At one point Henry is meeting with Keiko at an internment camp and they are saying goodbye because the Japanese are being sent further inland to try to cut off potential communication via the coastline. Their parting was heartbreaking to me, and being at a very emotional part of my life (pregnancy AND my husband moving) I totally lost it!! At least I wasn't on the subway!
I look forward to further discussions with my book club!