I thoroughly enjoyed 'Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet' -- the characters are believable, and the setting (Seattle and the Pacific Northwest) is evocatively wrought. The story rings true with what friends who were alive in that era have told me...both of Seattle and of the Japanese American relocation.
This story reminds me of 'Time Traveler's Wife' and could have been told from two points of view. In any case, it is a delightful tale of family duty and romance in a historically accurate setting.
Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.
A young Chinese boy and Japanese girl become friends while attending an American school in Seattle prior to the beginning of WWII. The story is historically accurate, while also telling a beautiful tale of two young school children's friendship which spans several decades. The Asian culture and actions taken by well-meaning parents set into motion events that change the young friends lives forever. With the backdrop of the war and Japanese internment camps, this is an audio book you don't want to miss.
And well read. It is a safe book to play with children in the car if you are prepared to answer questions about the Japanese internment camps. But perhaps the earlier children learn that the playground is not always safe, the better. It is disheartening to hear how quickly friend can turn to foe, but this is history... and one more lesson in the classroom of life.
Found this book as a recommendation for those who loved "The Help". While slower, and in many ways simpler, I still found it heart warming. The simple prose is often poetic and it speaks to classic themes of youth, aging, love... and whether losses can be mended over time.
I loved this book. Although painful to hear, it tells several stories.
The story of a little boy, bullied in school where know one looks like him. The story of a second generation immigrant and the sacrifices his family makes so he can become American. We learn a little about being black in 1940 and the jazz clubs and music of Seattle. We also learn from the perspective of a young girl the heartbreak of putting Japanese American citizens in concentration camps during WW2. Mostly it is the story of first love -- life long love. I couldn't put it down.
For anyone who is interested in the mixture of American history, relationships, and cultural diversity, this is a beautiful book, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Heart wrenching, emotional, maddening at times. Beautifully written and narrated.
...that the reason I didn't enjoy this book was because of the slow reading pace then I could fix it. I sped it up on my ipod and although it made the audio jerky it make the story much more enjoyable! This is a sweet story of love lost and a little glimpse into the tragedy of Japanese interment camps.
This is a wonderfully written book that is beautifully narrated. The story is written with an Asian voice, and takes one back to the Pacific Northwest during World War II, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor made Japanese Americans and Japanese immigrants treated as enemies. This is a gentle love story between a Japanese American girl and a Chinese American boy who must not only brave the difficulties of being Asian in a hostile Caucasian society, but the hostility and distrust between the Chinese and Japanese communities. Couldn't put it down.
Loved the mix of cultures in a love story. Sometimes as Americans, we forget that we interred the Japanese during WWll. So it was interesting to read how all that came about. Enjoyable. Lynn