Book Review: Jamie Ford’s “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet”

Book Review

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford is a story summed up in its title: both beautifully bitter and sweet.

This is Jamie Ford’s debut novel and it is a treat. His writing style is simple and evocative.

The fictional story centers around a portion of American history I am not quite familiar with. It is during the time when Japanese and Japanese-Americans are relocated to camps after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. It is a story of old and new traditions, the meaning of honor, and what is family. The coming-of-age story chronicles a Chinese boy’s enduring love for a Japanese-American girl.

I would recommend this as another great summer read. Easy to read, but the story will stay with you afterwards.


Favorite Quotes

“The hardest choices in life aren’t between what’s right and what’s wrong but between what’s right and what’s best.”

“I had my chance.’ He said it, retiring from a lifetime of wanting. ‘I had my chance, and sometimes in life, there are no second chances. You look at what you have, not what you miss, and you move forward.”

“He’d do what he always did, find the sweet among the bitter.”

“Hope can get you through anything.”

“But choosing to lovingly care for her was like steering a plane into a mountain as gently as possible. The crash is imminent; it’s how you spend your time on the way down that counts.”

“I try not to live in the past…but…sometimes the past lives in me”

“He’d learned long ago: perfection isn’t what families are all about.”

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