When I first started reading "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" I expected an awesome or possibly an epic love story. Something that would span the ages and take our emotions to amazing highs and lows. I was not quite awestruck and I felt that it fell short of being epic, therefore I was a bit disappointed and somewhat bored. What I found was a sweet story of a young Chinese-American boy (Henry Lee) and a young Japanese-American girl (Keiko Okabe) who, at the age of twelve, meet at the school where they are the only two Asian kids in an otherwise all white school. Their circumstances bring them closer together and a friendship develops which is fine with Keikos family but does not sit well at all with Henry's father who is harboring ill feelings against the Japanese because of the war between China and Japan. The story takes place
during World War II in Seattle, Washington when the U.S. government was sending the Japanese to internment camps.
The author tells the story from the point of view of a grown up Henry Lee as he slowly unfolds the story to his son after Henry's wife Ethyl passes away. Jamie Ford easily makes the story swing back and forth between the past and the present. All in all, even though I felt the story fell a little short of my expectations, I would not hesitate in recommending this book to anyone. I even think it would make a good movie. It's about time we learn more about what was done to our Japanese, and some of our German and Italian, citizens at this point in United States history.