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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My best read in 2009
I stumbled upon the audio version of this book in my local library and am so glad I did. I was completely absorbed in this novel and the characters from start to finish. It is a book about belonging and the fear and ignorance that led to such prejudice in the 1940s.

This book also a book about relationships, between parents and their children, children and...
Published on Sept. 22 2009 by Shelley T. Malo

versus
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Near the intersection of Disappointing & Vapid
I am fascinated and horrified at the period in American History covered by this book. The shamefull internment of Japanese Americans in concentration camps, while their possessions were taken over (stolen) by their neighbors was covered up for decades. I certainly never learned about it in school. I jumped at the opportunity to add to my knowledge of the era, but this is...
Published on June 15 2010 by NyiNya


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My best read in 2009, Sept. 22 2009
By 
Shelley T. Malo (Manitoba, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I stumbled upon the audio version of this book in my local library and am so glad I did. I was completely absorbed in this novel and the characters from start to finish. It is a book about belonging and the fear and ignorance that led to such prejudice in the 1940s.

This book also a book about relationships, between parents and their children, children and their peers, and between friends and lovers. Another reviewer Kate Messner said it so eloquently when she said that this book "looks at the best and worst of human relationships, the way we regard others, the way we find ourselves reenacting our relationships with our parents with our own children, the choices we make along the way. Mostly, though, this book reminds us that there is always room -- and time -- for forgiveness and redemption."

I must note that this book was as beautifully read as it was written. The reader, Feodor Chin was exceptional!

I hope Jamie Ford continues writing as he is an exceptionally talented author.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming & Well-written, March 15 2009
By 
Sheri S. (Montreal, Quebec) - See all my reviews
The book begins in 1986 and follows Henry Lee, a Chinese-American whose wife has recently passed away. He is dealing with his heartache and a strained relationship with his grown-up son Marty. The Panama Hotel, a renovated hotel in what was once Seattle's Japantown, recently discovered belongings that were once hidden there by Japanese immigrants in WWII. This news sparks Henry's memories of his youth and flashbacks to the 1940s when Henry had developed a close relationship with a Japanese girl named Keiko. Henry's father however, was a strict advocate for his Chinese heritage, forcing Henry to wear a pin stating "I am Chinese" and showed a stubborn dislike of all things Japanese. Henry's relationship with Keiko, set to the backdrop of WWII, forces him to grow up quickly and make difficult and sometimes dangerous decisions in order to fight for what he believes in.

I enjoyed this story from start to finish. It is surprising that this is Jamie Ford's first novel because his writing is so professional and polished while retaining its passionate flair. Henry and Keiko are two of the most endearing characters I have ever encountered and it is hard not to feel connected to them and become deeply invested in their outcomes.

"Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" also explores important issues of culture and the ramifications of prejudice, proving that there is more depth to this sweet story than meets the eye. Though it's often hard for an author to separate his or her own personal judgments and opinions, Jamie has done his best as he so eloquently states in his author's note:
"My intent was not to create a morality play, with my voice being the loudest on stage, but rather to defer to the reader's sense of justice, of right and wrong, and let the facts speak plainly."

Though there were predictable elements in the storyline, I still soaked up every detail of this novel and read it in one sitting. My emotions were tied up in the characters and I even cried at the end.

I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a heartwarming story that explores many issues and is ultimately filled with much needed hope!

[...]
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Near the intersection of Disappointing & Vapid, June 15 2010
By 
NyiNya "NyiNya" (It was broken when I got here...) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
I am fascinated and horrified at the period in American History covered by this book. The shamefull internment of Japanese Americans in concentration camps, while their possessions were taken over (stolen) by their neighbors was covered up for decades. I certainly never learned about it in school. I jumped at the opportunity to add to my knowledge of the era, but this is not the book to do it.

The novel is full of misinformation and anachronisms, so I don't trust it to provide any real information. At heart, this is the story of a pre-teen named Henry, the son of Chinese immigrants. Henry's relatives in China suffered terribly under the Japanese occupying forces, and Henry's father despises all Japanese. This is bad news when Henry falls in love with Keiko. If parental opposition isn't enough, Keiko and her family are soon sent to a concentration camp in Idaho. But Henry never forgets Keiko and Keiko never forgets Henry.

This is a great love story for the very young or ,perhaps, the very old. Anyone between 13 and 70 is going to find it a little lame, a little skewed in terms of facts, and slow going in general. There are anachronisms galore, a story line that jumps back and forth in time, but without indicating any growth or maturity on the part of the characters, and really, in the end, it's just not worth the effort to read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Canadian Japanese camps story, Feb. 28 2014
By 
Brenda A. Barr ""avid reader"" (Qc Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet (Paperback)
Really enjoyed the read with historical implications. Very interesting through to the end. I would highly recommend. Different twist of a read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Quick, lovely read, Jan. 20 2014
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Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet: A Novel: The book was very enjoyable and well written. I will read this author again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best, Dec 8 2013
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I think everyone who can read so read this book - could have gone on for many more chaptersl Loved it and so did friends.
Hope this writer carries on with more of the same.
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3.0 out of 5 stars loved the title, Nov. 16 2013
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I read the jacket notes with anticipation, as my husband & I had recently been in both China and Japan. I thought - great! - here's a book that will tell a story of the two cultures living and struggling together here in America.

I was more than a little disappointed. I felt there was so much more under the surface that wasn't written - but maybe that is truly how the two cultures actually subsist in today's world?

It was interesting in the story of the internment of the Japanese in Seattle. Probably a lot like what we had here in Canada. There was a special friendship, bound by a common interest in jazz - that was deeply touching, but this could have been so much more.
Not a bad read and, at times, very good - but could have been so much more.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT BOOK FOR YOUR READING GROUP, Nov. 7 2013
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A tender story and a compelling book to read; excellent character development and insight into the nature of the diverse cast - lots of fodder for thought.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful story of a very sad part of our history, Nov. 2 2013
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This book was recommended to me by a friend who's father was Japanese and who lived through this era. I read it just after my return from a trip to China. It is simply but expertly written in a manor to capture the reader's interest but also to share the cultural blend of the Chinese, Japanese and American influences on the history of those early pioneers. A wonderful, warm story of a tragic part of our history.!

I am recommending this to my grandchildren who live near Seattle.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A different time., July 29 2013
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The book kept me reading to find out what would happen next. I felt very sorry for the young boy and was glad it had a good ending.
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Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford (Paperback - April 18 2011)
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