Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

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Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
Jamie Ford
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            I can say that this is the one of the most wonderful books I have ever read. This masterpiece captivated me from the beginning and I had hard time to put this book down, but also hard time to finish reading it since I could enjoy it forever. Author of this book, Jamie Ford, is American author best known for “Hotel on the Corner of bitter and sweet” which is translated into more than 30 languages and has received multiple awards. “Hotel on the corner of bitter and sweet” takes place in Seattle in two time points during World War II and the year of 1986. In the 1986 the Panama Hotel in the Seattle got new owner who found in the basement of the building belongings of 37 Japanese families sent to internment camps during World War II. This discovery was trigger for the main character Henry Lee, to try to find memories of Keiko Okabe, his first love. Henry first met Keiko during war years after Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, and since he was of Chinese origin and Keiko of Japanese origin, their love had many obstacles. 

            This book is written in so emotional way, that it is easy to feel as main characters and to sense those strong emotions that they felt. In his writing author shows such a great knowledge and understanding of human nature, describing all nuances that are part of that. During the reading it was very easy to imagine International district in Seattle, the Panama Hotel, camps, feelings of young boy and girl, feelings of their parents, feeling of Henry as adult person. Also, historical events are also woven into this book from the angle of individuals, in a way that can make you think differently about many things and make you always chose love before hate. I felt like this book is not fiction and that I really know all characters, and that they are telling me their personal story. In other words, I didn’t feel like I was reading this book, I felt like I am living it with such turmoil of emotions that not every book can evoke.

            This book has many great insights to offer about love, dedication, sacrifice, conflicts between generations, family relationships, friendship and many other topics. I highly recommended this book to everyone, it’s so special book that you will have hard time to forget. My favourite quote from this book is:

            “It reminded him that time was short, but that beautiful endings could still be found at the end of cold, dreary days”.