Reviews: HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET by Jamie Ford

Jamie Ford’s Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is among the most popular books read by WWII reading challenge participants.  Here are excerpts from several more reviews; click the links to read their complete thoughts.

thekoolaidmom from In the Shadow of Mt. TBR says:

One of the things that I enjoyed about Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is that it inspires the reader to exploring history further, beyond the covers of the book.  It offers a vignette of American history and life, but it doesn’t preach or teach.  Ford could have very easily turned Hotel into a soap box and spoken out  against the unconstitutional suspension of the civil rights of American citizens by removing them from their homes, robbing them of their property and detaining them without just cause simply because of their genetic heritage.  This would have been a valid argument to have made, but Ford leaves the moral interpretation to the reader.  He could have turned it into a history lesson, but, instead, provides enough information for the reader to do his or her own homework.  Which I did.

Jennifer from The Literate Housewife Review says:

As much as I liked Henry, Keiko, Sheldon, and Marty the story felt like it was at an arm’s distance from me, as if I were sitting at the breakfast table along with Henry and his father. Jamie Ford has a unique voice and and he used it well in this debut novel. I felt the details of Chinese and Japenese culture were interesting and added depth to the story.  There were times when I was fully engaged, such as when Kenry and Keiko try to listen to Sheldon play with Oscar Holden at the Black Elks Club and when Henry visits Keiko at the internment camps.  Stll, I never got to the point where I couldn’t put it down.

Kim from Page After Page says:

The prose is sparse, but a very clear picture of the two cultures Henry and Keiko come from are portrayed beautifully.

Shelley from ChainReading says:

It’s somewhat predictable, but sometimes that’s what hits the spot. I could see this being a good movie.

Sandy from  You’ve GOTTA read this! says:

The novel is incredibly predictable. There was nothing in the story that surprised me. However, as the tale unraveled, I was relieved it went the direction it did. You desperately want the story to end well, so I was willing to let this particular annoyance slide by. It was also a highly emotional read. No tears on this end, but definitely anger. Anger at the bullish pride of Henry’s father who is so determined to mold his son into an ideal, that he is blinded to the irreversible damage he has done. Anger at the injustices we wrought on those who were also Americans, but with different colored skin. It is unnerving to face the fact that the Nazis weren’t the only ones doing wrong by others.

Hope from Worthwhile Books says:

Many things about the book appealed to me. Since I was born in Asia, I appreciated the references to Chinese words and customs. The facts about Japanese American internment camps appealed to me because I like WWII history. I enjoyed the excellent writing about the complexities of relationships, particularly at a specific time in world history. Jamie Ford does a superb job of describing the clash between 1st and 2nd generation Chinese Americans, the conflicts between Japanese Americans and Caucasians, and even the animosity between the Japanese and the Chinese during that era.

Suey from It’s All About Books says:

Some of the story was a bit predictable, and it’s not without it’s problems, but I didn’t care and loved it despite all that.

**Attention participants:  Remember to email us a link to your reviews, and we’ll post them here so we can see what everyone is reading!**

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