I am so excited! I finished my fourth book for 2021. Yes it took me awhile but I finished. I am feeling so good about my mission to read again. I have been doing great with making sure I find time to read. I have to admit I am kind of proud of myself. It has been something that I’ve been wanting to do for awhile now. I enjoy reading and it is kind of my moment to relax. Plus it helps me destress when I am having a rough day. So I am glad that I am actually doing it again. Anyway lest get into the book that I just finished reading.
I just finished reading Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. My daughter recently gifted me this book about two months ago. But I actually saw it on Instagram and the plot caught my attention. It tells the story of Chinese American Henry and Japanese American Keiko. They meet when they are the only two children of Asian descent at an all Caucasian elementary school in Seattle. The two become close while having this shared experience and working in the school cafeteria. Unfortunately this is during the time of World War 2 when Japanese Americans were being discriminated against more than Chinese Americans. Henry has to hide his relationship with Keiko because his dad doesn’t approve of him being friends with anyone Japanese let along being in love with someone who is Japanese. The truth eventually comes out and Henry has to deal with his parents disapproval but he continues to see Keiko anyway. Eventually Keiko, her family, and all the other Japanese in the U.S. at the time were sent to an internment camp. That didn’t stop Henry from loving Keiko. Eventually they lose contact and Henry doesn’t really think about Keiko again until after the death of his wife and some belongings that belong to Japanese families were found in the Panama Hotel. Which is where the story begins.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I had heard about the Japanese interment camps and learned about them a little in history. But I could never really picture what life during time was like for anyone until I read this story. Now we don’t really get Keiko’s perspective because the story is told through the eyes of Henry. So this is basically the story of a Chinese boy who falls in love with a Japanese girl and has to go against his parents to be with her. But just to see what life is like through Henry’s eyes is amazing. There were things that really stood out to me like Henry having to wear a pin that says I am Chinese so he wouldn’t be mistaken for Japanese. I love how despite how his dad felt about the Japanese that he still followed his heart even though there were consequences. The book was very touching and eye opening. I am already looking for another book to read by Jamie Ford. What are you reading? Is this a book that you would read?