Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Postmistress

The Postmistress  By Sarah Blake      Once upon a time people mailed actual letters to each other. With a stamp and an envelope and waited across mountains and oceans for their letters to be received. Then, they waited even longer for correspondence to be returned from afar. People searched their mailboxes everyday for news of birth, marriage, war and death. A lost or undelivered letter could change the course of many lives. This is a story during the early 1940's in a small town in Massachusetts. The postmistress is an organized, meticulous woman who is the bearer of good news and bad. A love story between the town doctor who goes off to help during the blitz in London, a radio announcer who brings the war to America for the first time through voices of refugees. A vital letter that goes undelivered. Excellent character depiction. Love story and historical fiction intertwined throughout the lives of this small town during a tumultuous time. Highly recommend this summer read.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet  By Jamie Ford    Part historical fiction, part love story. Henry Lee grows up in China Town of Seattle during the 1940's. WWII is the dominant theme in their lives and Henry struggles being the minority on scholarship at an all white school. Then he meets Keiko, who lives in Japantown. Their special friendship is frowned upon by Henry's father who is obsessed with the Japan China war in their mist and Americans are becoming more and more suspicious and prejudice of any Japanese people regardless of their American citizenship. A reminder of a time when Americans gathered innocent people into camps out of fear and desire to blame. These people were sadly forced to leave their homes and all of their belongings. Many of them, like Keiko, were born in the US and did not even speak Japanese. Other than the historical value of this story, the writing is rather elementary and was extremely predictable. The story was descriptive and although the characters were likeable, it lacked any real substance.