Join the Southwest Book Club this month to discuss Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. This book club favorite and historical fiction bestseller is a story about the love and friendship of a Chinese boy, Henry Lee and a Japanese girl, Keiko during the Japanese internment in World War II. Years later widowed Lee embarks on a personal quest that leads to memories of a love that transcended cultures and generations. This quest may also help him confront the choices he made many years ago.
Anyone age 18 or older is welcome to attend. The book club meets monthly at the Southwest Branch Library. For more information, please call 407.835.7323 or email email@example.com.
Tuesday, August 20
Library Meeting Room
If you are unable to attend the meeting or you would like to join our discussion, you can share your thoughts or respond to the discussion questions below. Simply click "Comments" located at the bottom of this post. Join the discussion!
1. From the beginning of the novel, Henry wears the "I am Chinese" button given to him by his father. What is the significance of this button and its message, and how has Henry's understanding of that message changed by the end of the novel?
2. What sacrifices do the characters in the novel make in pursuit of their dreams for themselves and for others? Do you think any characters sacrifice too much, or for the wrong reasons? Consider the sacrifices Mr. Okabe makes, for example, and those of Mr. Lee. Both fathers are acting for the sake of their children, yet the results are quite different. Why?
3. Does Henry give up on Keiko too easily? What else could he have done to find her? What about Keiko? Why didn't she make more of an effort to see Henry once she was released from the camp?
4. Should the men and women of Japanese ancestry rounded up by the US during the war have protested more actively against the loss of their property and liberty? Remember that most were eager to demonstrate their loyalty to the US. What would you have done in their place? What's to prevent something like this from ever happening again?
Discussion questions obtained at litlovers.com