Study Guide

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Chapter 43

By Jamie Ford

Chapter 43

Angry Home (1942)

  • The ride home is a lot less exciting and jubilant, especially when Henry thinks about how furious his parents will be. He especially doesn't want to worry his mother.
  • When they arrive back in Seattle, Henry says goodbye to Sheldon and then walks home. There's a plate of food left on the table but the rest of the house is silent. His parents don't come out to greet him.
  • He grabs the food and then moves to his bedroom to eat, where he finds a suit waiting on the bed. There's also a pair of dress shoes nearby.
  • Immediately, Henry jumps to the worst conclusion—that his father has died and these are the clothes he's expected to wear to the funeral.
  • But then he sneaks across the hall and peeks into his parents' room. He finds them both there, safe and sound.
  • Finally he notices a small envelope inside the suit. When he pulls it out, he finds a ticket for a cruise line.
  • That's when Henry realizes what this really means: His father's making good on his threat and sending Henry to school in China.
  • Henry argues with his mother, who tells him that this has been his father's dream for a long time; he's saved up for years to send Henry to school in China.
  • She tells him that the ship leaves next week and that he'll be gone for three or four years. Henry doesn't know what to do.
  • He tells his mother that he's going to decide what to do with his own life, thank you very much, and that he won't be going to China. His mother is shocked and horrified; she can't believe Henry would defy his father like this.
  • Henry tells her he won't go until the war is over and Keiko comes back. He also said his father made him the way he is.

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