Monday, March 8, 2010

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

I got the book Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, by Jamie Ford from the library.  I saw a review for it on Homespun Light and thought it sounded good.  I really liked it.  It is about a Chinese boy and Japanese girl who become best friends during the time Japanese people in America were put in internment camps.    Every time I read something about this point in history, I am horrified, but this book amazingly focus on  how positively this particular family deals with being put in the internment camp.    I cannot imagine being willing to fight for a country that has put you and your family in prison.  What amazing spirit the Japanese Americans showed!  My brother-in-law has a great aunt that experienced this exact thing and reading this book makes me want to hear all about her experiences.  It is such an embarrassing part of American history, that my natural tendency is to want to pretend it didn't happen, but reading this book reminded me that it is not something we can avoid.  We need to talk about it and remember it, so that the same mistakes are not repeated.  I am glad that there are authors who will write about this subject in a very real way, so that the rest of us can be reminded of our history. 

I have to add an update to this post.  The more I have thought about this book, the more I have liked it.  It is a love story, but not a traditional love story.  It is not written in an overly emotional style, like so many other love stories.  It is a much more true to life romance.  The characters make mistakes in expressing themselves to each other.  Life's circumstances get in the way of their budding romance.  It is a much more realistic portrayal of romance and relationships than many of the popular fiction books available right now.  I'm used to reading a more fairy tale portrayal of romance, which I enjoy too, but the more I think about it, the more I like this realistic perspective of romance.  I think sometimes we forget that in real life, romance isn't perfect and people and relationships are not perfect.  I think there is a tendency to think that love isn't real unless it is expressed like Edward and Bella, which in my book is ridiculous!  I love a good fairy tale, but that is what it needs to be seen as, a fairy tale.  I can't tell you how often I have heard people complain that their spouse doesn't act like this book or movie character and I just want to shake them and say, get a clue!  You are comparing real life to fiction.  Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is a very real romance.

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