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

Gail from Ticket to Anywhere listed to the audio version of Jamie Ford’s Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.  Here is what she had to say:

Words can’t describe just how amazing this story was. Jamie Ford has such a gift with words and story telling that I often thought that I was right there in the story standing next to Henry and seeing the world through his eyes.

Read the rest of her thoughts here.

**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!**

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!**

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

hotelWell, real life got in the way, and we’re a bit behind in posting reviews.  Slowly, but surely, we’ll catch up.  Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford is a popular book these days, with several of you posting reviews recently.

Diane from Bibliophile By the Sea wrote:

I thought Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet:  A Novel was a very good debut novel, there were parts when the story seemed to drag, but in the end I was I happy that I chose this book. (Read her entire review here.)

Nise’ from Under The Boardwalk wrote:

A wonderful, emotional story that was a page turner as I had to find out what happened. (Read her entire review here.)

Mari from MariReads wrote:

The novel jumps from the time of the war to 1986. Which usually I don’t like, but here it works well in setting the tone of the book. You get to see him as a young kid and experience his life in Chinatown and around Japantown of Seattle during this difficult and sad time in American history. You then see how different his life is as an adult and parent as he searches for items that once belonged to Keiko. (Read her entire review here.)

Wendy from Musings of a Bookish Kitty wrote:

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is a delightful and tragic book all in one. It is full of hope even during the direst of moments. Crossing over time lines, the novel goes back and forth between the sort of present (1986) and the past (World War II). It is the story of Henry Lee, a young Chinese-American growing up in Seattle, Washington, and an older Henry, who is searching for something even he is not sure he will find and trying to piece his life together as he makes peace with the past. (Read her entire review here.)

Kris from Not Enough Books wrote:

I loved learning about this aspect of WWII. It’s something we, as Americans, know happened but for the younger generations, we don’t hear about it. It’s not something that is readily talked about. When I think of WWII I think of the Nazi’s and their concentration camp. I loved that this book was from a different viewpoint and it showed what happened and what those times were like for an Asian living in the US. (Read her entire review here.)

Helenita from A Reading Collection wrote:

Now a national best seller, this debut novel has become one of my favorite books. Set in Seattle during the 1940’s, this is the story of Henry Lee, son of Chinese immigrants. Though he is an American citizen, he endures the prejudice of his peers. Yet he gains a friend in Keiko Okabe, a Japanese American. (Read her entire review here.)

I hope to read this one at some point myself.

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**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!**

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

hotel1Jeanette from A Comfy Chair and a Good Book recently reviewed Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford.  Here’s an excerpt:

This book just drew me into the setting of Seattle during the 1940s and the internment of American citizens who were of Japanese decent during WWII. This book, in fact, made me cry which is an effect that few books have on me. I tend to be a fairly stoic person and that carries over into my reading but by the time I was finishing this book I was all weepy and glad no one was around to see me working my way through a box of tissues.

Read the entire review here.

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**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!**

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

bitter-and-sweetKaye from Pudgy Penguin Perusals recently reviewed Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford.  Here’s a snippet:

The present time is 1986 in Seattle when we are first introduced to Henry Lee, a recently widowed Chinese American. While he witnesses a press conference at the old Panama Hotel, the simple sight of a koi umbrella discovered in the basement by the new hotel owner, takes him back mentally and emotionally more than 40 years to the 1940’s. Told from his perspective as a man in his mid fifties and flashing back to when he was a boy of twelve, not only is this a coming of age story but it is also a story of the pangs and heartbreak of first love and the enduring essence of friendship. Easily combining a young love story with a war story, Ford weaves a magical tale.

Read the complete review here.

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**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!**

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

hotelWisteria from Bookworm’s Dinner recently posted her review of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford.  Here’s a snippet:

The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is a historical novel that takes place during WWII on the West Coast, when fears are acute and spies are imagined everywhere. President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9102 that was passed by Congress giving the government the authority to relocate first and second generation Americans of Japanese decent to internment camps. Even though they were told this was for their own safety, they knew they were being corralled, detained, watched.

Read the rest of Wisteria’s review here.

ww2button1**Attention participants:  remember to email us a link to your reviews, and we’ll post it here so we can see what everyone is reading!**

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