Monday, March 8, 2010

Book Review: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

Disclosure: No one paid me in any way, form or fashion to do this review.

This story is centered around Henry, a Chinese boy torn between two cultures, faced with decisions to honor his upbringing or do what he feels is right in his heart. The narrative unfolds between two times, 1942 and 1986, as you learn the importance of a hotel and the treasures it holds to Henry.

It's a sweet tale. Also educational if you knew very little of the Japanese internment camps the U.S. government forced Japanese-Americans in (American citizens mind you) during World War II. I doubt the portrayal of the camps is completely accurate. But for not having known anything about those camps, I found it interesting.

Henry during the 1942 parts when he was 12 years old seemed mature for his age. He didn't react to a lot of things the way you would expect a 12 year old to. But the moral conflict with his dad which repeated with his son in 1986 was engaging.

This was a light, easy read that was charming and a little educational. Not a great work of literature by any means. A woman from my book club mentioned that it would be better on a shelf for teens. I would probably agree with her on that.

Next month - The Help by Kathryn Stockett

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