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Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
This beautifully written, tender love story, set in Seattle during a dark period of American history, treats its subject and its characters with great sensitivity. Henry feels he is an outcast, both at home because of a generational conflict and at his all-white school where he is busy scholarshipping – mailing out countless applications in the hope of having his college fees paid. Struggling with his heritage as a Chinese-American and without any friends his own age, he feels lost and alone until he meets Keiko, a Japanese-American girl. What starts out as a secretive friendship soon blossoms into a love that, with China and Japan at war, is strictly forbidden by both their families. The attack on Pearl Harbour further heightens the racism and paranoia among U.S. citizens and results in the enforced internment of all Japanese-Americans.