Welcome Breakfast and Book Talk
Wednesday August 7
9:00 – 11:00 AM
(included in the Spouse/Companion registration)
Join registered spouses/companions for a “Welcome to Seattle” breakfast and discussion of Jamie Ford’s Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.
In the opening pages of Ford’s stunning debut novel, Henry Lee comes upon a crowd gathered outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle’s Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now, 40 years later, the new owner has made an incredible discovery: the belongings of Japanese families, left when they were rounded up and sent to internment camps during World War II. As Henry looks on, the owner opens a Japanese parasol.
This simple act takes Henry back to the 1940s, at the height of the war, when Henry meets Keiko Okabe, a young Japanese American student. Amid the chaos of blackouts, curfews, and FBI raids, Henry and Keiko forge a bond of friendship–and innocent love–that transcends the long-standing prejudices of their Old World ancestors. After Keiko and her family are swept up in the evacuations to the internment camps, she and Henry are left only with the hope that the war will end, and that their promise to each other will be kept.
Set during one of the most conflicted and volatile times in American history, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is an extraordinary story of commitment and enduring hope. In Henry and Keiko, Ford has created an unforgettable duo whose story teaches us the power of forgiveness and the human heart.