Read alsoHotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet: A Novel
BONUS: This edition contains a Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet discussion guide. "Sentimental, heartfelt….the exploration of Henry’s changing relationship with his family and with Keiko will keep most readers turning pages...A timely debut that not only reminds readers of a shameful episode in American history, but cautions…
“Mesmerizing and evocative . . . a tale of conflicted loyalties and timeless devotion.”—Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants
“A wartime-era Chinese-Japanese variation on Romeo and Juliet . . . The period detail [is] so revealing and so well rendered.”—The Seattle Times
In 1986, Henry Lee joins a crowd outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle’s Japantown, where the new owner has discovered the belongings of Japanese families who were sent to internment camps during World War II. As the owner displays and unfurls a Japanese parasol, Henry, a Chinese American, remembers a young Japanese American girl from his childhood in the 1940s—Keiko Okabe, with whom he forged a bond that transcended the prejudices of their Old World ancestors. After Keiko and her family were evacuated, she and Henry could only hope that their promise to each other would be kept. Now, forty years later, Henry explores the hotel’s basement for the Okabe family’s belongings and for a long-lost object whose value he cannot even begin to measure.
SONGS OF WILLOW FROST
“Jamie Ford is a first-rate novelist, and with Songs of Willow Frost he takes a great leap forward and demonstrates the uncanny ability to move me to tears.”—Pat Conroy, author of The Prince of Tides
“Arresting . . . [with] the kind of ending readers always hope for, but seldom get.”—The Dallas Morning News
Seattle, 1934: Twelve-year-old William Eng, a Chinese American boy, has lived at Sacred Heart Orphanage ever since his mother was carried away from their small apartment five years ago. But now William, in a rare visit to the movies, has glimpsed an actress on the silver screen who goes by the name of Willow Frost. Struck by her features, William is convinced that she is his mother. Determined to find her, William escapes from Sacred Heart with his friend Charlotte. The pair navigate the streets of Seattle, where they must not only survive but confront the mysteries of William’s past and his connection to Willow Frost . . . a woman whose story is far more complicated than any fantasy portrayed onscreen.