Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

A Novel

Unknown - 2009
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Set in the ethnic neighborhoods of Seattle during World War II and Japanese American internment camps of the era, this debut novel tells the heartwarming story of widower Henry Lee, his father, and his first love Keiko Okabe.
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, c2009
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780345512505
Characteristics: 290 p. : ill. ; 25 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jul 27, 2016

A great tale of historical fiction, Ford presents events in America during World War II through a touching story. It speaks of a Chinese boy, Henry Lee, who has befriended a Japanese girl, Keiko Okabe. Conflicts arise that start separating the two, with the US’s alliance with China and confliction with Japan. The book is set in two time periods set 40 years apart, where Henry is reminded of his past by a Japanese parasol of the Panama Hotel. The book has a beautiful, if historically crude, plot that beseeches citizens to think about the country’s past and learn from what has happened. Although the story is extraordinary, well developed, and very touching, there is a presence of inaccuracies and anachronisms in the story’s setting and information. The implied universality of the Internet in 1986, or the level of maturity that the two twelve-year olds demonstrate, especially the actions that Henry takes just to see Keiko, are examples of this. Rated 4/5 for a brilliant, emotional, and eye-opening historical book that, as its title suggests, tells its tale with a bittersweet melancholy throughout the book.
- @interneuron of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

Aug 16, 2015

What an amazing story. A beautiful and tragic look into the complex history of racism in our country. The ending is a bit predictable, but that's forgivable given how well crafted the rest of this novel is.

Sep 23, 2014

I enjoyed this book very much, but I will just say that I found the ending a disappointment.

AuntJane Jan 29, 2013

While I enjoyed reading this story as a subject and town I know next to nothing about - I did keep waiting for something to happen.

Nov 20, 2012

Story of a Chinese boy and Japanese girl during WW11 in Seattle.

Feb 16, 2011

Very good book-an interesting perspective on WWII.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings

No similar edition of this title was found at WPL.

Try searching for Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet to see if WPL owns related versions of the work.

To Top