Dec 21, 2008

The Sunday Salon: 12.21

After missing a few Sundays, it is good to be back! I feel like I'm finally coming out of my reading slump. I don't know what else to call it, but I think it has passed. Does anyone else ever find themselves in a reading slump? If so, how long do they last? Recently, I had a hard time getting into a few books, so finally I laid them aside, which I don't usually do. I will get back to them, but I felt I needed to read something I was really excited about, rather than something I 'needed' to read.

I received a copy of HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET by Jamie Ford in the mail Friday that I'm really excited about and I think that helped with my mood. The book came from Library Thing Early Reviewers. The book, which is getting high praise from the book world is Mr. Ford's debut effort. As you may know, I'm a big fan of first-time authors so this was an added treat for me as a reader.
The story, which begins in 1986, is centered around fifty-six year old Henry Lee, a Chinese-American who has lived in the Chinatown neighborhood of Seattle his entire life. He's recently lost his wife of 37 years to cancer and is struggling to maintain a relationship with his college-aged son.

Not only is this a story of family, but also of forbidden love, racism and the tragedies of war. In 1942 much of the west coast was considered war territory after the attacks on Pearl Harbor, so consequently, it was very dangerous to be Japanese during those years. This story involves the deportation of Japanese families to internment camps here in the US in the 1940's. Through Henry, we learn how difficult it was to be Asian at that time and also the danger in forging a friendship with a Japanese-American girl he attended school with.

I'm only about 70 or so pages into the book, but already I'm connected to the characters and their lives. Jamie Ford's storytelling ability is apparent early on with the way in which the story unfolds with such ease, even with the flashbacks to the war years.

I'm enjoying this book so much already and I feel like it will only get better. Personally, I know so little about the circumstances of that time and place, so I'm enjoying the history lesson I'm getting at the same time. It's amazing to learn some of the things that happened in my own country that played such an important part in history, but that are rarely ever spoken of.

I don't want to get ahead of myself, because I've only started reading, but I think this is definitely the book to get me moving again! This book will be released on January 27th so be sure and look for it in your favorite book store. I'll also be posting my review once I finish the book, so please come back soon!
Now I'm off to check out some of your blogs and find out what books have you excited! I hope you all are enjoying your weekend and not getting overwhelmed with all the Christmas preparations! Merry Christmas!!


  1. I got that book last week, too, and I can't wait to read it.

  2. Kathy, I'll be anxious to hear what you think of it. :)

  3. That book sounds really good. I look forward to reading your final review.


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