I love supporting local authors from my home of Washington State. Jamie Ford is one of those authors. His book of several years ago Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet was a New York Times best seller. I enjoyed that book but I think I actually liked Love and Other Consolation Prizes even more.
Once again Ford brings the reader to Seattle, following the lives of a young Chinese boy, a young Japanese girl and raucous yet refined house of ill repute during the early 1900’s when Seattle hosted the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition.
Young Ernest (his adopted name on the arrival in Seattle) is based on an actual boy who was auctioned off during the 1909 AYP Expo. Author Ford uses this real life event as a jumping off point to develop the fictional story of what life was like in Seattle from 1909 to 1962 when Seattle next hosted the World’s Fair.
Though a fictional story, the book includes a great deal of factual information about immigrants, indentured servants, government corruption, prostitution, women’s votes (or lack of) as well as great detail about both the AYP and the ’62 World’s Fair. All woven believably into a tale of love, loss, and life as an Asian immigrant in the Pacific Northwest.
****Easy to read with a lovely plot and history lesson too. Four stars for Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford
Read last week’s review of The Glass Hotel.
My current read Nobody Will Tell You This But Me