This month in the April A to Z Challenge, I am posting about books, fiction, and nonfiction that are about or set in the Second World War. The war and the people who experienced it have stories to tell and these stories are so overwhelming they lend themselves to greatness. I encourage you to sample some of these stories. I promise you will not regret taking the time. To help me develop an alphabetical list for this challenge, I used Goodreads.com. Did you know that there are more than 883 fiction and 480 nonfiction books in this genre on the website’s Listopia as voted on by members? That is a lot of stories and facts just waiting for us to explore.
Today for the letter H, I bring you a novel that I just finished and I am forever changed from reading it. I really like when a storyteller lets you walk in the shoes of their characters. In Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford, we meet compelling characters.
Imagine you are a twelve-year-old boy growing up on the west coast of the United States in the 1940s. Now imagine, though born in the United States, you are the child of Chinese immigrants. Now imagine that you father obtains a place for you in the “white” private school where you attend “on scholarship”. The attack on Pearl Harbor was a just a few months ago. Do your classmates know the difference between being Japanese and being Chinese American? No worries, your father makes you wear a badge that says “I am Chinese.” Now imagine that your best friend attends the “white” school too and she is Japanese American. The Japanese are your father’s sworn enemies not to mention at war with the United States. If you are familiar with Executive Order 9066 issued in 1942, you know what is to become of the Japanese Americans in this story. The story begins with this boy in his adulthood. Events occurring in 1986 trigger a trip down memory lane for Henry Lee. Come read his journey where he revisits the sacrifices he has made for family, for love, and for country. It is a moving story of people and a history lesson about life on the homefront in Seattle, Washington.
It is also going to be a film.
I wrote about Executive Order 9066 previously including in the A to Z Challenge.
Don’t stop there. So many other books about or set in the time of war are available. Here are a few links to Goodreads:
Helmet for My Pillow by Robert Leckie (This is one of the books that was used as a source for the HBO series, The Pacific.