Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet - Review by Rebecca Woodhead

A Note to UK Publishers

As yet, this book is not available in the UK. This needs rectifying immediately. British libraries, book shops and book clubs need this novel. Schools need this novel. Children need to read this. We can't be the last land mass on the face of the planet able to rave about it.


Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet - by Jamie Ford

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is a tremendous debut novel. It deals with sensitivity with the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. At the same time, it is a Romeo and Juliet story of near misses, deception, heartbreak and yearning. The novel is based in Seattle and jumps between the 1940s and 1980s. This is a strategy that is hard to pull off without jarring but Ford manages the task admirably, illustrating the changes in the central characters without resorting to decade stereotypes.

Ford's novel is well researched but not didactic. He does not preach at you to take sides. He simply presents the characters and the facts and you are pulled in. This will be big and you'll want to be able to say you read it early. Buy two. Read one and keep the other pristine. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet will become a classic.

Charlie  – (18 June 2009 at 22:11)  

I started following Jamie on Twitter since it was mentioned on Kristin's blog a couple of months ago. The last time I visited B&N, his book wasn't in stock. I'll ask for it again this weekend.

When can I ask for your book Rebecca? :)

Charlie  – (18 June 2009 at 22:12)  

Oh wow, the word verification was "FORDS"

Rebecca Woodhead  – (18 June 2009 at 23:58)  

Thank you Elizabeth.

Charlie - that word verification thing is too funny. As for asking for my book.... you'll be able to ask for it in Feb next year because if it's not published by then I'm publishing it myself! :)

Eric  – (19 June 2009 at 15:56)  

Nice review, Rebecca. Having had the opportunity to interview Jamie, I can honestly say he's as awesome a person as he is a writer. I am a huge fan, and I'm glad to see you enjoyed this book as much as I did.

Jamie Ford  – (19 June 2009 at 16:11)  

Okay Rebecca, now I'm going to have to pay you a handsome commission if I ever sell the U.K. rights. Have you ever considered becoming an agent on the side? :)

Thanks again!

Rebecca Woodhead  – (19 June 2009 at 16:38)  

Jamie! Thanks for popping across. No commission necessary old chum. Happy to help.

I've been a casting agent before but never considered being a literary agent...could be fun! Think I'll practice.

Jamie for UK Best Seller Lists Challenge:

Everyone, it's Friday today so if you've got a twitter account do me three small favours:

1/ #followfriday Jamie (@JamieActual)
2/ #fridayreads Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.
3/ Link to this post mentioning Jamie or the name of the book

You can do 1 and 2 any/every week but it's important to do number 3 this week as I've been highlighted in an online publishing article today so there's a higher chance people connected with the literary world will click on links about me this week.

I really want the buzz about Jamie's book to get stoked up over here in England as I'm uber annoyed that we seem to be the only place on the face of the planet where you can't wander into a book shop and pick up 'Hotel' so I wonder if we could get #jamiefordinUK to become a trending topic on Twitter. Any other 'Hotel' promoting ideas you can come up with that might land this amazing book on English bookshelves would be great.

Ooh... just thought of one. What if we all just ran a post on our blogs entitled 'UK Book Shops Need Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet'? Cut and Paste it and just paste a link to his book on Amazon or something or back to this review. If we all put that as a heading, it would make its way up google and would appear in all the google feeds for publishers and book retailers in the UK. You all up for it? :)

Rebecca Woodhead  – (19 June 2009 at 16:46)  

Eric, crazy world of coincidences. My interview with Jamie's going up shortly. You joining the campaign to get Hotel on British shelves too? (See prev comment)

Rebecca Woodhead  – (19 June 2009 at 17:17)  

Titles - make it 'UK Book Shops Need Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford' See new post for update :)

Melissa Marsh  – (19 June 2009 at 20:55)  

Oooh! A WW2 novel. I must read this!

Rebecca Woodhead  – (23 June 2009 at 13:08)  

Melissa, please do. It's really a great novel.

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