Reviews for Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet


AudioFile Reviews 2009 April/May
Thanks to Feodor Chin's flexible voice and agile tones, what could be an overly sentimental look at a dark period in American history becomes a tender reminiscence. Twelve-year-old Henry Lee, a Chinese-American boy, feels an immediate, if taboo, connection to Keiko, a Japanese-American girl. During WWII Japanese-Americans were persecuted, placed in internment camps, and separated from loved ones. When Keiko is interned in Idaho, Henry promises to wait for her. Forty years later Henry stumbles upon relics from the past, rediscovering Keiko through memory and flashback. Occasionally clunky writing is softened by Chin's character portrayals and narration. Henry's difficult relationship with his father, his changing feelings for Keiko, the turmoil of adolescence, the sting of prejudice--all are precisely drawn by Chin's sensitive performance. S.J.H. (c) AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine

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Library Journal Reviews 2009 May #2

Chinese American Henry and Japanese American Keiko bond as the only Asian students in a Seattle elementary school in 1942. The two are the victims of both racist attitudes and the patriotic fervor following Pearl Harbor. While emphasizing their deep friendship, first-time novelist Ford also conveys the minute details of that particular time and place. Feodor Chin's (Journey of a Thousand Miles) energetic, sensitive reading makes the story moving without ever resorting to sentimentality. Recommended for Asian Americans and those interested in Pacific Northwest history. [Embeddable audio clip available through library.booksontape.com; the Ballantine hc was described as "a vivid picture of a confusing and critical time in American history," LJ 10/1/08.--Ed.]--Michael Adams, CUNY Graduate Ctr. Lib.

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