Linda of Linda Letters recommended we read Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford.
This tells you a bit about it:
“Jamie Ford's first novel explores the age-old conflicts between father and son, the beauty and sadness of what happened to Japanese Americans in the Seattle area during World War II, and the depths and longing of deep-heart love. An impressive, bitter, and sweet debut.”
-- Lisa See, bestselling author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
I have to agree with Linda that this is a wonderful book, but I don't quite get what Lisa See meant about the "beauty" of what happened to Japanese Americans".
I've always known about the Internment Camps, of course. Art's aunt's book was published about the Japanese Americans in Hawaii who were sent to the camps. In Hawaii, the people who were taken away were generally those who were leaders or men of influence or learning. Since my grandfather was a Buddhist priest, he was on the list though he left Molokai's Kalaupapa before it all happened.
Still, although I knew all this, Jamie Ford's book made it even more real and gut wrenching. The prejudice and hatred directed against even a 2nd generation Japanese American was painful to read about. Art who is usually into Action or Science Fiction books says he'll read it before I return it to the library for the next person on the Hold list. Now, that's a surprise!
To be perfectly honest, when I saw that Mr. Ford was actually half Chinese and his story is about the hatred many Chinese felt for the Japanese, I expected a story slanted toward something he must be acutely familiar with. Instead, he writes objectively about this terrible time and lets you decide. I was really drawn into the story and did wipe bitter sweet tears away at the end. Still, like Linda, I wished there was another chapter. I wanted to know more about what happened to Henry's lifelong love, Keiko.
Hmmm... maybe that could be another book?
Here is Janice of My Reading Diary's review on this book.