Monday, January 18, 2010
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
A lovely read. Ford uses a split narrative to alternate between Henry Lee's childhood in 1942 when he meets Keiko Okabe and 1986, when the Panama Hotel's cache of treasures from interred Japanese families becomes public. Henry is forced by his father to wear an "I am Chinese" button and his growing affection for Japanese Kieko creates family tensions. The two young teens are separated by the war, Henry finds a Chinese bride, but the years do not dull his longings for what might have been. The book is more sweet than bitter.