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An editor and avid reader gives her frank thoughts about everything she reads. More reviews and book blather on fefferbooks.com!

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Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet - Jamie Ford Sigh. I'm disappointed in this book. It's on all kinds of bestseller/book club lists, and so I'd hoped for an engaging, meaty, or at least emotional read. I got none of the above. The choice of topic is interesting--an adolescent/adult (two time periods) romance set around the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII. The details about the racism, persecution, and daily life of the interned Japanese-Americans, the frustration of the main character's adolescence lived out with one foot in two cultures, and the random historical jazz references: all fascinating. The writing? Meh. Platitudes, anachronisms, and general blah. I mean, one of the main quotes on the Goodreads page for the novel is "Hope can get you through anything." Mind-blowing insight, it ain't. Even the ending was trite, predictable, and wrapped up overly neatly. Honestly, Ford would have done better if he'd made this book non-fiction--his lowest notes were his attempts at creating rounded-out characters with believable emotions.