Search This Blog

Love reading challenges? Check out my other blog:

2022 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (1)
- Alaska (1)
- Arizona (1)
- Arkansas
- California (5)
- Colorado (3)
- Connecticut (1)
- Delaware
- Florida (1)
- Georgia (2)
- Hawaii (1)
- Idaho
- Illinois (2)
- Indiana (1)
- Iowa (1)
- Kansas
- Kentucky
- Louisiana (1)
- Maine (1)
- Maryland (2)
- Massachusetts (5)
- Michigan (2)
- Minnesota (1)
- Mississippi (1)
- Missouri
- Montana
- Nebraska (1)
- Nevada
- New Hampshire (1)
- New Jersey (1)
- New Mexico (1)
- New York (9)
- North Carolina (4)
- North Dakota
- Ohio (1)
- Oklahoma
- Oregon (1)
- Pennsylvania (2)
- Rhode Island (1)
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Tennessee (1)
- Texas (2)
- Utah (2)
- Vermont (3)
- Virginia (1)
- Washington (4)
- West Virginia
- Wisconsin (1)
- Wyoming (1)
- Washington, D.C.* (1)


Antarctica (1)
Australia (2)
Egypt (2)
England (16)
France (1)
Greece (1)
Ireland (2)
Italy (1)
Malaysia (1)
Nepal (1)
Poland (1)
Portugal (1)
Romania (1)
Scotland (3)
Sweden (1)
Wales (1)

My Progress:

38 / 51 states. 75% done!

2022 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

19 / 50 books. 38% done!

2022 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

My Progress:

20 / 25 books. 80% done!

2022 Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge

My Progress:

65 / 53 books. 123% done!

Booklist Queen's 2022 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

43 / 52 books. 83% done!

Aussie Author Reading Challenge 2022

1 / 24 books. 4% done!

2022 Nonfiction Reader Challenge

3 / 20 books. 15% done!

2022 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

My Progress:

36 / 50 books. 72% done!

The 52 Book Club's Reading Challenge 2022

The 52 Book Club's Reading Challenge 2022

My Progress:

39 / 52 books. 75% done!

2022 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:

38 / 40 books. 95% done!

2022 Support Book Bloggers Challenge

2022 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Both Bitter and Sweet, Sweeping Historical Novel Tells Clean, Touching Story

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

In 1986, an extraordinary discovery in Seattle's Japantown draws a crowd of people, among them a 56-year-old Chinese-American named Henry Lee.  The widower is as amazed as everyone else to discover that The Paragon Hotel, which has been shuttered for decades, has been hiding a large, dusty collection of belongings left behind during World War II when Japanese families were forced out of Seattle and into internment camps.  Watching the event takes Henry back forty years, to his clandestine friendship with Keiko Okabe, a Japanese girl he met at school in 1942.  Outcasts among their white classmates, the two form a strong friendship that turns into a sweet, but forbidden romance.  Although they vow to meet up again after the war, Henry never hears from Keiko again.  What happened to the girl he once loved?  The search for Keiko will pry open Henry's most painful memories, remind him of impossible choices and sacrifices, and maybe, finally, bring him and his son together.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Jamie Ford's bestselling debut novel, tells a sweeping story of family, friendship, and finding what's been lost.  Vivid period detail brings to life Seattle's China and Japantown in the 1940s, making the story feel immersive and authentic.  The idea of abandoned family treasures left behind in a hotel to bear witness of a sad chapter in America's history is as intriguing as it is heartbreaking.  I found it an irresistible premise, even if the story itself gets a little long and dull.  Although the tale left me with unanswered questions, overall, I enjoyed it.  It didn't blow my socks off like it has for other readers, but I liked the clean, bittersweet tale that is, ultimately, a hopeful one.  I'll definitely check out more books by Ford.


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for violence and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  I bought a copy of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet from Amazon with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger.  Ha ha.


  1. I really enjoyed this book when I read it a few years ago. It's a time period I enjoy and I didn't know much about the era in Seattle so found it interesting.

  2. I've read this one and found it to be really bittersweet and very touching. Thanks for this review.


Comments make me feel special, so go crazy! Just keep it clean and civil. Feel free to speak your mind (I always do), but be aware that I will delete any offensive comments.

P.S.: Don't panic if your comment doesn't show up right away. I have to approve each one before it posts to prevent spam. It's annoying, but it works!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin


Farm to Trouble by Amanda Flower


The Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs

Followin' with Bloglovin'


Followin' with Feedly

follow us in feedly

Grab my Button!

Blog Design by:

Blog Archive