Better World Book Club: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

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As you can imagine, I love books and authors and love to do what I can to help promote them.  It’s not just my current and former life as a bookseller that makes me feel this way — I have always loved books.  So, when I come across a debut novel like this one, I am especially happy to be able to help get the word out.

Jamie Ford’s HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER & SWEET has officially become one of my new favorite books.  Ford paints a personal picture of race, culture, family, love and loyalty in the 1940s in America.  He shows us, through the eyes of children, a time we, as Americans, would rather forget; when Japanese Americans were rounded up and forced to live in internment camps.  It is a politically important story for sure, but it is the personal story that sweeps you up and makes you unable to stop turning pages.

I loved Henry, both as a child and as a man.  He is loyal, brave and young Henry seems wise beyond his years.  What did you think of his quiet disobedience of his father?  What about his father’s rule that he could only speak English at home when his parents only spoke Cantonese?  Keiko and her family were so very American and worldly and open.  Did they change the way you felt about the internment?

What did you think of the jazz in the book and the way it was woven throughout the story?

Anything else you want to chat about?

— Dana


  1. Janice Evans says:

  2. What epiphany happens in the book hotel on the corner of bitter and sweet?

  3. Brittany, are you trying to find that for a project too? because i cant find one or and allusion at all

  4. The Allusion I used was when Henry and Sheldon were on the Greyhound bus to see Keiko and Sheldon was upset the man made them sit in the back of the bus. Kinda like the Civil Rights Movement. Not 100% an allusion but it could get you to pass by…

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