January 20, 2009

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet , Jamie Ford

In his impressive debut, Jamie Ford has written a tender and satisfying novel that is part of American history we would rather not face. It gives us a glimpse of the damage that is caused by war--not the sweeping damage of the battlefield, but the cold, cruel damage to the hearts and humanity of individual people. It deals with the relocation of Japanese Americans, at the beginning of WWII. This beautifully written book not only explores the age-old conflicts between father and son, it will make you think; more importantly, it will make you feel.

I was born in 1944, but this issue still affected me when I was a girl. Mrs. Odigari, the mother of a childhood friend, had been rounded up and spent the war in the horse stables at Santa Anita Racetrack; her daughter was born there. She was never bitter, and didn’t talk about it, but as a result of that terrible internment, she contracted TB, which affected her and her family for the rest of her life.

Ford sets his story in Seattle, but this happened to the entire West Coast. Read it, you’ll love it.

1 comment

  1. What a beautiful cover and title! I remember that movie with Dennis Quaid that told this part of US history, it was such a heartbreaking movie. This sounds like an interesting read.


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