Author: Jamie Ford
Genre: Adult Fiction
Publication Date: January 27, 2009
Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN-13 Book: 9780345505347
Publisher Audio CD: Random House Audio
ISBN CD:: 9780739382837
Source: I checked out the audio from my local library. I purchased a copy of the book for my personal collection. (Also, so I could get it signed when the author comes to Kokomo!) This is my honest review!
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When Henry Lee first meets Keiko Okabe in 1942 Seattle, he thinks of her as just another Japanese girl. But as these two become friends, and share their love of jazz, something begins that he isn’t ready for. He and his father have never been on good terms and a Japanese friend is out of the question. In 1986, when personal items belonging to Japanese families sent away to internment camps are discovered in the basement of the Panama Hotel, Henry remembers his friendship with Keiko, and all the things they shared. As he searches through the old belongings, Henry finds more than he ever hoped for, including a relationship with his son, an understanding of his father, and events that he never dreamed possible.
I don’t get around to reading a lot of adult novels, but on occasion, I like to pick one up to see what I have been missing. This book has been chosen as our One Book One Community read for 2011, and many of my coworkers have recommended it to me.
This book was wonderful. I loved how the novel switched back and forth between 1942 and 1986. I love how real Henry felt as a character and how charming he was. Since I tend to prefer teen novels, I thought I would prefer the 1942 flashbacks, but I actually enjoyed seeing Henry’s relationship with his son and the events of 1986 the best.
This book took me by surprise. I am familiar with the Japanese internment, and the history there. The internment, while important to the story, wasn’t at the heart of the novel. The heart of the novel was about relationships and promises.
The audio version is produced by Random House Audio and read by Feodor Chin. The audio is extremely well done and easily draws the reader into this remarkable story. Chin is a convincing narrator and the production is exceptional. A good listening experience.
Overall, this is an exceptional novel about people, love, and families. I recommend it to anyone who love a story with heart.
Note: The author has been invited to come to Haven's Auditorium here in Kokomo on December 1st. Tickets are a available for free at the library. Should be a great event.
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