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Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet: A Novel by [Jamie Ford]
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Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet: A Novel Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 3,616 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“An impressive, bitter, and sweet debut that explores the age-old conflicts between father and son, the beauty and sadness of what happened to Japanese Americans in the Seattle era during World War II, and the depths and longing of deep-heart love.”—Lisa See

“A tender and satisfying novel set in a time and a place lost forever, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet gives us a glimpse of the damage that is caused by war—not the sweeping damage of the battlefield but the cold, cruel damage to the hearts and humanity of individual people. This is a beautifully written book that will make you think. And, more important, it will make you feel.”—Garth Stein, bestselling author of The Art of Racing in the Rain

“Mesmerizing and evocative, a tale of conflicted loyalties and timeless devotion.”—Sara Gruen, bestselling author of Water for Elephants

“A wartime-era Chinese-Japanese variation on Romeo and Juliet . . . The period detail [is] so revealing and so well rendered.”The Seattle Times

“A poignant story that transports the reader back in time . . . a satisfying and heart-wrenching tale.”Deseret Morning News

“A lovely combination of romantic coincidence, historic detail and realism that is smooth and highly readable . . . Ford does wonderful work in re-creating prewar Seattle.”The Oregonian

“Heartfelt . . . a timely debut that not only reminds readers of a shameful episode in American history, but cautions us to examine the present and take heed we don’t repeat those injustices.”Kirkus Reviews

“Ford’s story of an innocent passion across racial barriers—and of the life of a man who forsook the girl he loved—is told with an artistic technique that makes emotion inevitable.”—Louis B. Jones

“A beautiful and tender masterpiece . . . a book everyone will be talking about, and the best book you’ll read this year.”—Anne Frasier

“A heartwarming story of fathers and sons, first loves, fate, and the resilient human heart . . . marvelously evocative.”—Jim Tomlinson

From Publishers Weekly

Ford's strained debut concerns Henry Lee, a Chinese-American in Seattle who, in 1986, has just lost his wife to cancer. After Henry hears that the belongings of Japanese immigrants interned during WWII have been found in the basement of the Panama Hotel, the narrative shuttles between 1986 and the 1940s in a predictable story that chronicles the losses of old age and the bewilderment of youth. Henry recalls the difficulties of life in America during WWII, when he and his Japanese-American school friend, Keiko, wandered through wartime Seattle. Keiko and her family are later interned in a camp, and Henry, horrified by America's anti-Japanese hysteria, is further conflicted because of his Chinese father's anti-Japanese sentiment. Henry's adult life in 1986 is rather mechanically rendered, and Ford clumsily contrasts Henry's difficulty in communicating with his college-age son, Marty, with Henry's own alienation from his father, who was determined to Americanize him. The wartime persecution of Japanese immigrants is presented well, but the flatness of the narrative and Ford's reliance on numerous cultural cliches make for a disappointing read. (Feb.)
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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
3,616 customer ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on August 13, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on November 17, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on August 20, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on October 10, 2016
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Top international reviews

The Reading Desk
5.0 out of 5 stars An American Classic
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 8, 2018
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Barbara M. Webb
4.0 out of 5 stars Blind Faith
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 7, 2016
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JohnBrassey
5.0 out of 5 stars A Lovely Story - Poignant And Heartening
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 19, 2014
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C Huston
4.0 out of 5 stars 3.5/5 stars. A sweet story set during a turbulent period of recent history we could all stand to learn more about.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 22, 2015
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KymH
4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely and highly recommended read.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 16, 2017
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Catwoman14
5.0 out of 5 stars Glad to have got around to reading it.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 7, 2019
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tirna
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully written story
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 31, 2015
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Magda
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Story well worth a read, bitter and sweet!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 4, 2014
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Mrs. Lynda A. Byford
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a really good story about what happened to Japanese immigrants living in ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 10, 2016
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MBC
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly both bitter and sweet as another reviewer said
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 21, 2017
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Jeanette
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a love story that spans decades
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 18, 2015
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Mrs A Gordon
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning read!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 11, 2015
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Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 21, 2016
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Jaggy
5.0 out of 5 stars Indeed bittersweet
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 23, 2016
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zigzagdorset
4.0 out of 5 stars A bitter-sweet experience that can't fail to move you
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 2, 2015
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