Jamie Ford's Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
As stephenhongsohn noted back in 2009, there is a deliberate attempt by the author to frame the novel as a love story more than as a politicized narrative about the internment, something that I think is ultimately detrimental to the possibility of the novel and that undermines what is most interesting about the narrative. As much as the love story is the hook, the thing that might be most accessible to a broad audience and that brings people to the text, it is hardly something that makes the novel stand out and is in fact a bit on the cliched side with predictable bumps and turns. Henry falls for Keiko even though his father is a staunch Chinese nationalist who has distrusted Japanese and Japanese Americans his whole life. Keiko's family, by contrast, is thoroughly Americanized and more open-minded about friends that Keiko might make, regardless of race. As these two descriptions suggest, the novel staunchly supports a narrative of multicultural enlightenment endemic to Americanization (even if there are occasional stumbling blocks).
What I found most interesting about the story was the focal perspective of Henry as a Chinese American during WWII. I'm not aware of many (any?) other stories about internment from a Chinese American character's point of view, and it certainly provides some interesting things to consider with respect to interethnic tensions and the difficulties of an Asian coalitional politics, especially during WWII. Ford wonderfully plays up the historical struggles between China and Japan in Asia that characterized much of the interethnic tension in Seattle, and I appreciated some of the details that he provided regarding the history of Chinese nationalists in fighting Japanese colonial forces.