HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET
Author: Jamie Ford
Publisher: Allen & Unwin Aust
HOTEL on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is a moving, historical tale told through the eyes of Chinese-born Henry.
Set in Seattle in 1986, Henry is dealing with the loss of his beloved wife and struggling with a somewhat distant relationship with his son.
But after wandering past a hotel where he sees some old Japanese relics have been found, he is transported back to his childhood during the Second World War.
Henry is the only Chinese boy in an American school but once Keiko, a Japanese American arrives at the school, he starts up an enduring friendship with her.
The book jumps back and forth between eras and portrays an innocent love story that has to survive a Chinese father who believes all Japanese are the enemy as well as military operations that see all Japanese Americans evacuated and taken to camps after the attack on Pearl Harbour.
This could have been confusing for readers but instead Ford is able to work the transitions seamlessly into the story and it works effectively.
Although the story was a little slow to take off at the beginning, altogether it was an easy to read and enjoyable novel that gave me more insight into a period and series of events I wasn't all that familiar with.