BookBrowse Reviews Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

A Novel

by Jamie Ford

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jan 2009, 304 pages
    Oct 2009, 320 pages

  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

Buy This Book

About this Book



An extraordinary story of commitment and enduring hope

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet begins with a real-life event: The 1986 discovery in Seattle's Panama Hotel of the belongings of thirty-seven Japanese families, stored there for safe-keeping in 1942. As one would expect, much of the novel revolves around events just before and just after American residents of Japanese descent were forcibly relocated during WWII.  As historical fiction, the book is top-notch; Ford's insertion of references to historic Seattle landmarks, locations and events create a heightened sense of realism. He also does an exemplary job of describing the atmosphere of Seattle's Chinatown in the 1940s.

"The entire city came alive in the morning. Men in fish-stained T-shirts hauled crates of rock cod and buckets of geoduck clams, half-buried in ice. Henry walked by, listening to the men bark at each other in a Chinese dialect ...

More about this book

  • Two separate interviews with Jamie Ford - one video, one text.
  • Images that inspired the book at the author's website.
  • Below: A video tour of some of the locations in Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Images: Top Right: Residents of Block 21, Minidoka Internment Camp, Idaho (1943). Bottom Right: An American soldier of Japanese ancestry at the railroad station of a small town in an agricultural community. He and nine other service men of Japanese ancestry received furloughs to enable them to come home to assist their families get ready for evacuation from their west coast homes.

Members Only

BookBrowse's reviews and "beyond the book" articles are part of the many benefits of membership and, thus, are generally only available to subscribers, including individual members and patrons of libraries that subscribe.

Join Today

Member Login

Library Patrons

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: So Say the Fallen
    So Say the Fallen
    by Stuart Neville
    Noir crime fiction – Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett anyone? – is an American invention...
  • Book Jacket: The Mothers
    The Mothers
    by Brit Bennett
    Every now and then the publishing industry gushes about a young author destined to become the next ...
  • Book Jacket
    by Tom Jackson
    Growing up in Mumbai in the '70s, I still remember herbs kept fresh in small glasses of water, ...
Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles

An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    North of Crazy
    by Neltje

    The remarkable life of a woman who carves her own singular path.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Cruel Beautiful World
    by Caroline Leavitt

    A fast moving page-turner about the naiveté of youth and the malignity of power.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Next
    by Stephanie Gangi

    Fast-paced, wickedly observant, and haunting in the best sense of the word.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win The World of Poldark

Win the book & DVD

Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One S D N M A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.


Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!

Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.