This simple act takes old Henry Lee back to the 1940s, at the height of the war, when young Henry's world is a jumble of confusion and excitement, and to his father, who is obsessed with the war in China and having Henry grow up American. While scholarshipping at the exclusive Rainier Elementary, where the white kids ignore him, Henry meets Keiko Okabe, a young Japanese American student. Amid the chaos of blackouts, curfews, and FBI raids, Henry and Keiko forge a bond of friendship and innocent love that transcends the long-standing prejudices of their Old World ancestors. And after Keiko and her family are swept up in the evacuations to the internment camps, she and Henry are left only with the hope that the war will end, and that their promise to each other will be kept.
Forty years later, Henry Lee is certain that the parasol belonged to Keiko. In the hotel's dark dusty basement he begins looking for signs of the Okabe family's belongings and for a long-lost object whose value he cannot begin to measure. Now a widower, Henry is still trying to find his voice, words that might explain the actions of his nationalistic father; words that might bridge the gap between him and his modern, Chinese American son; words that might help him confront the choices he made many years ago.
©2009 Jamie Ford; (P)2009 Random House Audio
"A tender and satisfying work set in a time and a place lost forever, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet gives us a glimpse of the damage that is caused by war - not the sweeping damage of the battlefield, but the cold, cruel damage to the hearts and humanity of individual people. Especially relevant in today's world, this is a beautifully written book that will make you think. And, more importantly, it will make you feel." (Garth Stein, New York Times best-selling author of The Art of Racing in the Rain)
"Jamie Ford's first title explores the age-old conflicts between father and son, the beauty and sadness of what happened to Japanese Americans in the Seattle area during World War II, and the depths and longing of deep-heart love. An impressive, bitter, and sweet debut." (Lisa See, best-selling author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan)
Randee and Dan
This book was a nice love story. I guess I need to find an actual history book to read more about the day to day lives in the relocation camps.
The most interesting aspect was the fact that so much of the Japanese people's belongings had to be left behind or destroyed when they were relocated.
The intonation of the character's voices was very good
Yes on the movie or TV show. No comment on the actors.
I was hoping to hear more about the day to day life in the relocation camps.
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is ranked very high among my list of audiobooks.
This is a bittersweet story of two young people during the evacuation of Japanese Americans to internment camps during World War II, shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Ford's characters come to life on each page and by the end of his story you literally have a lump in your throat. Beautifully written and wonderfully told by Feodor Chin.
Chin does a great job moving between characters. You almost feel that there is more than one narrator.
Buy this audible, you won't regret it!
I enjoyed listening to this audiobook.
When the meaning of the title was reviled.
The finding of the record.
As a person with dyslexia, audio books give me the opportunity to "read" wonderful books that I would otherwise miss. Thank you for this fabulous service.
This book had been recommended to me several times by the same person, but I just hadn't gotten around to it. I'm sorry I waited so long.
I like a book that has a great story, interesting and believable characters, good writing, and information. This is the whole package.
I knew very little about the Japanese internment in the US during WWII. Now I want to learn more.
The narrator is first-rate. He does a nice job with the female characters and gives a hint of an accent when appropriate without being difficult to understand.
This would be a very good book for anyone from a teenager on up. The lesson is universal and timeless.
I really enjoyed this book. Normally I don't care for books that go back and forth between times, but this one was easy to follow and made the story better. The reader was perfect. The author keeps you guessing (and hoping) what the end will be and gives a better understanding of that part of history. Great Book!
I grew up near Seattle, and lived there during the period when those Japanese that were interred during the war were coming back to the area. Later, I was in a church with several families. This book brought tears to my eyes several times....but it's a good read.
The history of the conflict in our homeland through the eyes of a child and then an adult. I highly recommend this for kids age 14 plus. If you care about the inner conflicts in our culture, read this and you will gain a different perspective of the US culture.
I don't know,
The description of the young man and how he was mistaken as Japanese and he was Chinese.
No, but it kept me coming back and I truly wanted to read the entire story.
Recommend this to teachers and history teachers.
A reader may enjoy this book more than a listener. The narrator pauses in the wrong places, is somewhat monotone and places emphasis in the wrong places.
No. The author seems repetitive, explaining every detail rather than allowing for the possibility of a reader having some intelligence.
This book came highly recommended however I am so bored by Chin's slumbering voice that I can't stay awake and the story is lost.
It is refreshing to read a novel about the internment of Japanese Americans during WWI. This is a nice story. However, it is a bit drawn out and maudlin. I found myself becoming impatient and close to abandoning it.
I am a Special Education teacher. I grew up in Ashland, Oregon, but have lived most of my life in Hawaii. My favorite reading/listening genres are history and historical fiction.
Yes, the story was too sweet and reminded me of Nicholas Sparks. There were a few anachronisms that were very obvious to anyone with a clear memory of the 1980's. In spite of these two faults, I really enjoyed this book a lot. I loved the setting and appreciated learning more of the history of Seattle. I really liked the characters Henry, Keiko, and especially Sheldon. I was so happy to learn that Oscar Holden and the Midnight Blue were historical jazz musicians. Most of all, I was intrigued by this first effort by Jamie Ford, an author who grew up in my hometown, Ashland, Oregon. Good work, Mr. Ford!
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