Tuesday, November 3, 2009
I would like to recommend a book to you today. I was browsing new fiction at the library when I saw on the cover a favorable review by Lisa See. The name of the book is "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" by a man named Jamie Ford who is himself of a Chinese background like Lisa See. I felt if Lisa liked it I would and was right.
The book is based in Seattle and starts in 1942 at the start of the Japanese invasion of the Pacific. It goes back and forth between 1942 and 1986. The young Chinese boy Henry is re-telling the story of when he was just 12 years old and the Japanese people in his area are rounded up and sent to concentration camps until the end of the war. He has a young friend from school, a girl, who is Japanese and she is taken away. His family makes him wear a button on his shirt saying "I am Chinese" so he will not be mistaken for Japanese.
Going back to my childhood through the war time I do not remember this ever happening in Canada. My husband does not either. Maybe there were not a large amount of Japanese living in Canada. If I am wrong with this maybe some of my Canadian readers could correct this for me. I do remember VE day (Victory Europe) and VJ day (Victory Japan). I was only little but in school and when they announced it all the church bells started ringing, streetcars sounding their bells and they just opened the schools and let all the children out. I remember my Mother was working in a paper factory called Egry Continuous forms making forms and paper for the forces. We ran down to her building and they were letting everyone out so we all went home together. Can you imagine nowadays them opening up the schools and just letting all the children out. Of course living in the city of Toronto we all walked to school. Odd memories popped up while reading this book.
I would highly recommend this book both for those old enough to remember the era and more so for those too young to remember this sad time in history.
I also have a new blog to tell you about today especially since I am talking about Canada. This gal lives on the West Coast about a 40 minute ferry boat ride to the city of Vancouver. Her blog is http://www.creativedaily.blogspot.com. She is having a great giveaway and her blog is beautiful. Drop by and see it.