Study Guide

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Chapter 41

By Jamie Ford

Chapter 41

Waiting (1942)

  • Henry wakes up inside the camp because he's spent the night in the Okabes' little abode. He can hear Keiko's family still sleeping soundly.
  • Because Keiko didn't want him to leave last night, she snuck him into the camp. Now he turns over to see that Keiko is awake and looking at him.
  • He tells her that he has to leave today and asks if she'll come with him. Keiko says she wants to but she can't leave her family behind or put them in danger.
  • Then she promises she'll write to him, noting that the war can't last forever. Henry says he'll wait for her on the outside.
  • Later, Henry has breakfast with Keiko's family and listens to their news about the Japanese American internment.
  • He hears about how the government wants young men to take an oath of loyalty and to fight in the war, which makes no sense to him.
  • Before he leaves, Henry asks Keiko's parents for permission to court their daughter. It's an awkward moment, but Mr. Okabe tells Henry he has their full permission and that he's always been good to their daughter.
  • Then the conversation goes to darker topics, like the fact that a man named Okamoto was recently shot for stopping a construction truck from going the wrong way.

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