Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Jamie Ford

In 1986, Henry Lee is in a crowd outside the Panama Hotel, which was once the entrance to Seattle's Japantown. It was boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has discovered the belongings of Japanese families who were sent to internment camps during World War II. Henry remembers a young Japanese American girl, Keiko Okabe, who he innocently befriended in the 1940s. He flashes back, and this is their story. I found the plot very interesting. I didn't even know that Seattle used to have a Japantown. You know, we always think of the Nazis as the bad guys in World War II, which they were, but some pretty bad things happened in the US too. Innocent Japanese people were rounded up and sent away from their homes just because of their nationality. It's really horrible to realize that the US did that. They also had the right to send away Germans and Italians, but they didn't. Just the Japanese. This book is very sad, but it also had hope in it too. And I love the ending; it was bittersweet, which is the feeling that this book is really all about. 285 pages, 5 stars.

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