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Praise & Reviews

"Mesmerizing and evocative, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is a tale of conflicted loyalties, devotion, as well as a vibrant portrait of Seattle's Nihonmachi district in its heyday."

–Sara Gruen, New York Times Bestselling author of Water for Elephants


Jamie Ford has written a tender and satisfying novel that is tucked into a part of Seattle history we would rather not face. Set in a time and a place lost forever, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet gives us a glimpse of the damage that is caused by war--not the sweeping damage of the battlefield, but the cold, cruel damage to the hearts and humanity of individual people. Especially relevant in today's world, this is a beautifully written book that will make you think. But, more importantly, it will make you feel."

– Garth Stein, NY Times bestselling author of THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN

Jamie Ford's first novel explores the age-old conflicts between father and son, the beauty and sadness of what happened to Japanese Americans in the Seattle area during World War II, and the depths and longing of deep-heart love. An impressive, bitter, and sweet debut.”

– Lisa See, bestselling author of SNOW FLOWER AND THE SECRET FAN, PEONY IN LOVE

What a wonder to partake of the bitter and sweet from the masterful talent of Jamie Ford."

Lawson Fusao Inada, Oregon Poet Laureate, author of LEGENDS FROM CAMP

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 us to examine the present and take heed we don’t repeat those injustices."

Kirkus Reviews

A gripping, poignant story that brings to life a terribly unjust time in our nation’s history in a potently visceral way. I loved it! As I read I was drawn deeper and deeper into the narrative. I became Henry. I became Keiko. Ford’s novel puts me right in that time, that place when it seemed as if the entire world was ending. There are lessons to be learned from this even now. A story of understanding, sacrifice, and love. I was entranced from the very first page."

Patricia Wood, author of LOTTERY


Ford expertly nails the sweet innocence of first love, the cruelty of racism, the blindness of patriotism, the astonishing unknowns between parents and their children, and the sadness and satisfaction at the end of a life well lived. The result is a vivid picture of a confusing and critical time in American history. Recommended for all fiction collections."

Library Journal

Jamie Ford's novel Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is deeply informed by an intimate knowledge of Seattle during World War Two, of the tribulations of Asian peoples during the time of Japanese internment, and even of the Seattle jazz scene during that time. His story of an innocent passion across racial barriers -- and then, of the whole life of a man who forsook the girl he loved -- is told with an artistic technique that makes emotion inevitable."

– Louis B. Jones, author of New York Times Notable Books ORDINARY MONEY, PARTICLES AND LUCK, and CALIFORNIA'S OVER

I loved it! Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is a beautiful and tender masterpiece. A book everyone will be talking about, and the best book you’ll read this year.”

– Anne Frasier, USA Today Bestselling Author of HUSH, PALE IMMORTAL and GARDEN OF DARKNESS

Jamie Ford's novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, tells a heartwarming story of fathers and sons, first loves, fate, and the resilient human heart. Set in the ethnic neighborhoods of WWII Seattle and Japanese-American internment camps of the era, the times and places are brought to life by the marvelous, evocative details."

– Jim Tomlinson, winner of the 2006 Iowa Short Fiction Award and author of THINGS KEPT, THINGS LEFT BEHIND

More Reviews:

HuntingtonNews.net, January 27, 2009 · Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Explores Family, Cultural Tensions in WWII Seattle.

The Oregonian, February 6, 2009 - Portland, OR · Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet doesn't pull any cheap tricks. The author clearly knows the territory, geographically and emotionally.

Bookpage, February 9, 2009 - Ford, of Chinese descent, is the kind of down-to-earth writer you'd like to have a cup of coffee with.

USA Today, February 19, 2009 - USA · New Voices.

Northwest Asian Weekly, February 19, 2009 - Seattle, WA · To merely state that Jamie Ford’s “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” is a love story would be an oversimplification...

FINE LINES, Business Lexington, March 3, 2009 - Lexington, KY · An award winning short story writer, "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" is his first novel and an impressive and addictive read.

UPI, March 5, 2009 - Hong Kong · Jamie Ford's debut novel Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is a warm and tender novel which tells a story of compassion and cruelty...

KUOW, August 15, 2009 - A review from the inimitable Nancy Pearl.

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