Review | Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

A sweet story set during a turbulent period of recent history we could all stand to learn more about. 3.5/5 stars.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

The (short) blurb: Set during one of the most conflicted and volatile times in American history, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is an extraordinary story of commitment and enduring hope. In Henry and Keiko, Jamie Ford has created an unforgettable duo whose story teaches us of the power of forgiveness and the human heart.

I read this book after seeing recommendations from several bloggers, all of whom used the word “cute” to describe it. They were right. There is a great deal of cuteness in this book, perhaps surprising given the serious events and issues which form the background and part of Henry and Keiko’s story.

I enjoyed the story and the ending is absolutely pitch perfect. However, I couldn’t rate the book any higher as I had some issues with the writing style. For me, there was too much unnecessary “telling” where some more “showing” or saying nothing would have done the trick. In some places the flow was also a bit “off”, although I would find it hard to explain why I felt this way.

As a Brit, unsurprisingly, my education about WWII focused mainly on Britain and the rest of Europe. Consequently, I thought the description of what happened to Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor was fascinating. The book was also refreshingly non-preachy, reporting the events and leaving the reader to make their own moral judgements.

A sweet story taking place amid interesting events, I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction and/or cute romance.

 Claire Huston / Art and Soul

7 thoughts on “Review | Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

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  2. Great review. I really enjoyed learning about America post Pearl Harbour too and, as you say, it was also fairly non-judgemental. But I found the intensity of the relationship unbelievable. I can understand the ‘cute romance’ remarks absolutely but for me it (mostly) grated with the gravity of the context rather than provided any contrast. Interesting point about telling instead of showing, I’ll be looking out for that now! Thanks Claire

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I think the lack of contrast you mention is one of the reasons why I was happy the book ended where it did. To then have some kind of extended, “Oh, but then it was all ok because 40 years later they found each other and got married, etc.” would have undermined a lot of what had gone before.
      Thanks for reading my review! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • I think that was because I did something weird where I published the review by mistake (d’oh!), panicked, swore a lot, took it down and then scheduled it to publish when I had really wanted to (i.e. when I’d finished writing it!). I’ll get the hang of this blogging lark eventually… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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