Saturday, November 25, 2017

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jaime Ford

genre: historical fictoiun

A boarded up hotel. A missing keepsake. A man and his past.

As a second generation Chinese American living in Seattle, Henry’s life is a lonely one. He’s the only Chinese boy going to an all-white elementary school and now that the Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor, he’s always needing to convince people he’s not Japanese. Soon, though, he meets Keiko, and being Japanese doesn’t seem like such a bad thing. In fact, it starts to matter very much, as talk of evacuating Japantown circulates and Henry is as helpless as Keiko to do anything about it.

Told both in the present and in flashbacks, this book sheds light on a painful and under-discussed series of events in American History. I appreciated learning about the jazz scene as well as the ethnic difficulties in Seattle during this time period. Was it awesome storytelling? Not particularly. It was slow going and some parts really required a lot of effort for me to suspend my disbelief. Anachronisms pulled me out of the story also, which was frustrating, but I did care for the characters by the end so it didn’t feel like a waste of my time.

1 comment:

Susan said...

I've heard good things about this one. It's been on my TBR mountain chain for a long time, but I still haven't gotten to it. One of these days ...

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