Study Guide

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Chapter 36

By Jamie Ford

Chapter 36

Camp Anyway (1942)

  • After Henry chooses to go after Keiko's belongings instead of obeying his father, his parents stop talking to him. He feels like a ghost in his own house.
  • Eventually, his mother does cave a little bit and pack him a lunch. She even does his laundry. But she still won't openly acknowledge his existence in front of his father—she follows his rules.
  • No one talks to Henry at school either, so life is pretty silent and lonesome for him. By the time Saturday rolls around, Henry is thrilled to be picked up by Mrs. Beatty. He just needs someone to talk to and acknowledge his presence.
  • He has lovely wrapped presents for Keiko, but Mrs. Beatty tells him the guards won't let him bring them in all wrapped up. Instead of making him unwrap them, though, she hides them in the bags of food. Cool trick, Mrs. B.
  • At lunch, Henry chats with Mrs. Okabe who informs him that Camp Harmony is just temporary—soon the government will be moving them all to internment camps that are more inland.
  • When Keiko comes through the lunch line, Henry tells her to meet him at the visitors' area later; he has some things to give her.
  • Because of bad weather, the record party is cancelled but Henry still is able to give Keiko her presents. She's so touched by the gifts that he's picked out, especially her sketchbook and drawing supplies.
  • He also gives her Sheldon's copy of the Oscar Holden record, which completely delights and shocks her.
  • Then Henry has to leave and Keiko tells him that she'll always appreciate what he did for her. She also promises to write now that she has paper and envelopes.
  • As he walks back toward Mrs. Beatty's truck, he hears the sound of his and Keiko's song starting to play.

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