Study Guide

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Chapter 20

By Jamie Ford

Chapter 20

Home Fires (1942)

  • Henry gets home earlier than he usually does to find that there are guests in their house, including Chaz (the school bully) and his father. Good times.
  • Apparently Chaz's dad's a building developer and he is trying to find a way to take over the buildings in Japantown. He needs Henry's father's support as a Chong Wa board member in order to move into Japantown and start developing, though, and the two of them need Henry to translate and facilitate the conversation, since Henry's father doesn't speak English.
  • Henry's father wants to tell Chaz's dad to go to the bank and buy property out from under the Japanese families that rightfully own the land and buildings. Since they've been arrested, the banks will sell them for a good offer.
  • Henry is so shocked and disgusted that he doesn't translate what his father says. Instead he tells Chaz's father that his father will never approve of the sale because it's bad luck.
  • He continues to mistranslate the conversation until his father and Chaz's dad are completely livid at one another. They end up walking away from the conversation without anything resolved.

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