Customer Reviews for

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Average Rating 4
( 1857 )
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(74)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

79 out of 86 people found this review helpful.

I completely and unashamedly fell in love with this book from the very beginning!

Hotel on the Corner of Butter and Sweet is Jamie Ford's beautifully written debut about Henry, a Chinese American growing up in Seattle during World War II. Henry struggles with his identity, his stubborn father, and when his best friend, a Japanese American girl, is se...
Hotel on the Corner of Butter and Sweet is Jamie Ford's beautifully written debut about Henry, a Chinese American growing up in Seattle during World War II. Henry struggles with his identity, his stubborn father, and when his best friend, a Japanese American girl, is sent to an internment camp he has to decide between love and loyalty.

This book is like a little slice of history complete with the sights, sounds and smells of Seattle during World War II, jazz music, salty sea air, and the sweet taste of duck sausage. There are so many themes touched in this story that it should feel overly crowded: first love, father-son relationships, immigrants, racism, and looming over everything World War II. Yet the story flows around and through Henry seamlessly and it is easy to find yourself deep in his world.

I completely and unashamedly fell in love with this book from the very beginning. At first I raced through it eager to see what would become of Henry, later I slowed my progress wanting to prolong my time with him and anxious about his ending. When the end came it was perfect, bitter and sweet, but so satisfying too.

posted by Frisbeesage on February 3, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Bitter and sweet indeed

This book was just good. At times long and slow but still keeping me interested in the story. Henry's character is very well developed and I really liked how, as his character was developing also was the story. I only gave it three stars because the writing is a little ...
This book was just good. At times long and slow but still keeping me interested in the story. Henry's character is very well developed and I really liked how, as his character was developing also was the story. I only gave it three stars because the writing is a little heavy at times, it was almost as if the story and Henry were too much for the writing abilities of the author but...it didn't keep me from liking the story, the setting and characters.

posted by 4176825 on October 21, 2010

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Page 2 of 94
  • Posted September 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    WOW!

    I loved this story. It's told in a "then and now" voice of a young boy who's coming of age and the old man he becomes. I laughed, loved, and cried my heart out. I could hardly put the book down as I eagerly awaited each next chapter. One of the best stories I've read in a while.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Nice Story

    I enjoyed the story, I wouldn't rate it as one of my all time favorite books, but it was a good read and very enjoyable. I always like reading about the feelings of the Japanese/Americans at the time of the war. Very enjoyable book.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 14, 2010

    Sweet escape

    Such a sweet book that describes an era that many of us never learned about in History class. Yet it wove a feeling of love, forgiveness and hope throughout. I hated to have it end!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    New Twist on WWII

    This was a great story about a time in our history that doesn't get much attention. This book touches the little discussed history of putting American citizens of Japanese decent in American camps during the war. It also explores how culture differences affect our life and those around us. Good Book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2009

    A Wonderful Story

    This is a book to read, keep..or give away..and re-read in the future. It is beautifully written with memorable characters...It presents a picture of the World War II era that I was unaware of. A great book that stays with one long after the last page is finished.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2009

    Excellent and utterly charming read

    I actually e-mailed the author to tell him how much I enjoyed this book. I had never done such before. He actually responded within a few hours. I can barely wait for his next book which he is in the process of writing.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2014

    Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is one of Jamie Fords be

    Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is one of Jamie Fords best novels. It is about a young Chinese boy named Henry who grew up in Seattle during WWII. Henry is constantly having to deal with his stubborn father and his best friend Keiko, who is sent to a internment camp because she is Japanese. This novel does an excellent job on portraying the history and attitudes of this time period. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is filled with themes, from the smell of the salty sea to the sound of jazz music. Henry, who is in love with his best friend Keiko, goes to through so much to try and be with her. His father is the main problem and Henry can never seem to agree with him. His mother on the other, hand helps him behind his father back and shows that she care. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet was an amazing love, adventurous book. Jamie Ford really captivates the reader in the book and you will find yourself never wanting to close the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2013

    Gorgeous

    To be brief, it is a wonderful read, one I could hardly stand to put down. The author pulls the reader in and grips them to the end. I loved Henry's story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2013

    Read in one day

    This book is now in my top 5 of all time fav books, what an amaxing story!,,,

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2013

    If you've ever lost track of a love...it's a must read!

    Very nicely written and well-researched. Turns the light on a period in American history that may be swept under the rug and ignored. Reminds us once again that real people were involved in this tragic event. Ignorance,fortitude and love, hope and tolerance...it's all there!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2012

    Hotel on the corner of bitter and sweet

    Loved the story; made you feel you were living every event with each character. A love story with lots of turns of events; shocked how Henry's father does the things he does to his son and says 'l did it for you". Yah right!! The book is also about history and the city of Seattle. Snuggle up with a blanket and don't foget to have the tissue close by.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 5, 2010

    Bitter That Ends With Sweet

    This is a beautifully constructed novel set in the midst of a sad and bitter moment in American and world history. Through the eyes of two youngsters, a Chinese boy and a Japanese nisei girl on the brink of their teenage years, we encounter the baseless fears that led to America's internment of the Japanese population on the West Coast and the prejudices toward and within the Asian community of Chinese and Japanese alike. Through the eyes of the man the boy becomes, we see the effects of these events on their lives some forty years later. As the book moves back and forth between the two eras, our insight into the characters grows and develops as they grow and develop. Unlikely catalysts are a wise black jazz musician, no stranger to prejudice himeslf, and a gruff cook who cannot bear for anyone to see her human side. I recommend this book as highly as I have ever recommended a novel. It is superb.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2010

    If you love character development and culture

    The story of Henry and his life was a worthwhile read. It could have been about 20 pages shorter but after I felt bogged down about pg 100, I
    continued reading. Glad I did. I feel like Henry is a friend and with all friendship hate to see him go.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2010

    Kind of Slow

    I thought the story moved along pretty slowly. I had a hard time getting invested in the characters, which didn't help the pace of the book. I liked how it turned out in the end but wasn't overly interested in what was happening overall. I will say, it did open my eyes in regards to how the Japanese-Americans were treating during the war.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 17, 2010

    Fun easy book to read

    This is a fun, easy read but should be categorized as juvenile literature. The plot contains historical facts of WWII and the US's policies towards Japanese immigrants and citizens of Japanese descent. If you liked Snow Falling on Cedars you'll like this too.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 13, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Touching and Well Researched

    I love historical fiction for the simple reason that I can learn while being entertained. This story draws the reader in from the first chapter. The transition between past and present is smooth. Other than the basic history of the events, I didn't know much about the personal struggles of the Japanese families interned in the 1940's. I found myself longing to remain in Henry's younger years despite the challenges of prejudice. Even as he faced each incident of prejudice or family expectation, he did so with a hopefulness that is unique to the young. I loved the story, the characters, the presentations of facts and was surprised by the touching ending. I understand that the book received some criticism for its somewhat happy ending. I think that's preposterous. Tragic endings abound in real life. I like that the author rewards our reading loyalty with a hopeful ending.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 21, 2010

    On a par with "Snow Falling on Cedars"-i.e. a winner and heartstring tugger

    This is a compelling read and poignant commentary on a history that should not be forgotten. You cry with the characters and wonder at their perseverance. Done from an unusual point of view.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Wonderful story

    Once I picked it up to start reading, I stayed up all night to finish it. A beautiful story filled with interesting historical facts. It made me begin reading about the WWII Japanese internment. I knew of it, but not very much. It shocks me that only 60 years ago, our country did this. A great story. Highly recommend.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 16, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    This is a Must Read

    This is one of the best books I've read in a very long while. In essence this is a love story, but this is much more than a romance novel. During WWII a sweet friendship developed between a Chinese American boy and a Japanese American girl who become separated when the girl and her family are sent to a Japanese interment camp. I was quickly drawn into the touching and poignant story involving prejudice and heartbreak.I felt educated and enlightened to read of a period I know so little about and I feel wiser from the experience.

    I strongly recommend Hotel on the Corner of Bitter & Sweet! It's a heartbreaking joy to read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 27, 2009

    A Wonderful Read!

    I selected this for my book club and we all loved it. Very well written and thoughtful. We all loved that it touched on an element of American history that is often neglected, while weaving together stories of relationships. It also reads really fast - and I am NOT a fast reader. I totally recommend this!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 1866 Customer Reviews
Page 2 of 94