Thursday, October 21, 2010

Book Review/Analysis: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

A fiction about two friends who meet during childhood and alternates between World War II ("the war years") and 1986.

I'm certainly no book critic so I'm going to blog about whatever comes to mind. It's the first book that I've finished in a week in a very long time. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It reminded me how easy it is to forget the atrocities that the U.S. government committed throughout its history. It also reminded me of how cruel people, especially kids, could be. It made me upset at what parents put their children through sometimes, in the name of wanting a "better life" for their children. Parents don't always know what's best and I think only kids realize that. Sometimes when kids become parents, they forget that too. I really felt something for the kids, Henry Lee and Keiko Okabe. Innocent children who found something wonderful during an ugly period in history. I'm not going to lie, I wanted the story to end differently, but I guess I've always got my imagination. The author references a lot of Jazz music, which I was already interested in trying to "get in to," and reading this story only made me want to even more. What I got from this book was friendships should be cherished. They are these little moments that we share with a friend or a loved one that can last a life time and no matter where your friends may be (especially with all the ways to stay in touch now-a-days), friendship can last a life time. Again, there's also the cruel reminder of our shameful history... hopefully we can learn from it and not put others through the same ordeals.  There's also the simple fact that if you treat those with respect that you will get respect in return. This is one of my favorite lines in the book, "Henry, this isn't about us. I mean it is, but they don't define you by the button you wear. They define you by what you do, by what your actions say about you. And coming here, despite your parent, says a lot to them - and me. And they're Americans first. They don't see you as the enemy. They see you as a person." I feel like this book has made me a better person. As corny as that feels, I'd like to think it did. And even though they're fictional, I wish Henry and Keiko happy lives while I wonder what could have been.

Currently Reading: Born Standing Up by Steve Martin