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Review: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford illuminates the dissonance between father and son, men who straddle the world of heritage and the land of birth, rejecting each other's experience and ultimately rejecting each other. The father reveals on his deathbed how deep this rejection drove him, destroying his son's simple wish for happiness.


The story unfolds without excessive tension, introducing two adolescents from the 40s struggling to exist in a world where they are Asian and everyone else their age is not. It builds to a tumult as the two are separated during the egregious forced internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, as they discover how difficult it is to live a friendship without communication.

Prejudice is the slumbering giant waiting to erupt at every turn, hostile, vicious, thwacking aggression that leaves welts on the body and bruises on the heart that do not heal.

The hotel, itself a character, hides secrets, hides worldly goods, hides hurt – its very existence a place to avoid as it separates the world of what "might have been" from what is.

Glimmering at the end is a portal to glimpse the might have been, and perhaps the chance to make the wrongs right.

The history embedded in the book is as important as the novel.

Source: Library Loan, Kindle.










You may also enjoy, How I got here and why it matters by Carol Doane.

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