Study Guide

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Chapter 30

By Jamie Ford

Chapter 30

Camp Harmony (1942)

  • The next day, Henry pretends he's sick so he can stay home from school. He also tells his parents that his black eye and bruised cheek (from the fight with Chaz) happened because he bumped into people in the crowded streets. What a klutz.
  • On Thursday, Henry has to go back to school despite the fact that he's been dreading it like the plague.
  • At breakfast, Henry's father gives him another button. This one says, "I'm An American." This upsets Henry, and he grabs his book bag and storms out of the apartment. He throws the button in the trash on the way to school.
  • At lunch, Chaz comes up to Henry and starts trash-talking Keiko, but Mrs. Beatty comes along and tells Chaz off.
  • Then she asks Henry if he wants to make any money over the weekend. She'll be setting up a mess hall at an internment camp called Camp Harmony—which is exactly where Keiko's family went.
  • Of course Henry says yes right away. On Saturday Mrs. Beatty picks him up in her truck and drives them all the way to camp.
  • They finally pull up into Camp Harmony, which is being built on what used to be a fairground. Everything about the place is depressing and drab, and there are soldiers with machine guns along the barbed wire fence.
  • They drive into the camp and a soldier asks who Henry is, so Mrs. Beatty says he's the kitchen helper and will assist with switching out trays and stuff.
  • Henry helps Mrs. Beatty unload all the food, which looks pretty gross. As he serves the food to people, he continually asks them if they know the Okabes. He serves for two hours without getting a single glimpse or lead on Keiko's whereabouts.
  • They go on to serve people at the next hall, and Mrs. Beatty warns him that he should stay close if he finishes up early; he doesn't want to get mistaken for one of the Japanese people and forced to stay at Camp Harmony.

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