It took me several chapters to connect with, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, mainly because I was unfamiliar with the setting and context. However once I appreciated this I was hooked.

It is a moving story of ‘first love’ between a Chinese boy Henry, and a Japanese girl Keiko, living in Seattle during World War II. The book lives up to the expectation of being both bitter and sweet.

The book was well written and I enjoyed the way Jamie Ford weaved his story around historical events, creating believable characters and situations. The story jumps between 1942-1945 and 1986. Sometimes I would have liked it to have jumped more often as it was good to have respite from some of the war events and know that Henry does survive it all despite many challenges.

I do like happy endings and I was completely satisfied with this one, not only for the main characters but also for the other relationships.

I read this book as part of my book club and I’m glad I did.