Bedford Library's Reviews > The Lotus Eaters

The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli
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Nov 10, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: judy-staff-picks

Much like the Vietnam War itself, this title both repels and draws the reader. Soli’s lyrical prose allows us to see the beauty, the tawdriness, and the devastation that was Saigon at the end of the war. Without skirting the violence of the war, debut novelist Soli captures her audience by offering us an intimate story that revolves around three people. Helen Adams is one of the first women photographers in Vietnam who actually goes on patrol with combat troops. She soon falls in love with the married Sam Darrow, a Pulitzer-prize winning veteran photographer. His devotion to his work, his inability to leave Vietnam, and his need to take more and more risks to get “the picture” are all contagious and Helen soon succumbs. His Vietnamese interpreter, assistant, and friend, Linh, completes our complicated triangle. After the inevitable and tragic death of Sam, Helen and Linh are drawn together, first through grief, but later through love. But will Helen’s obsession with the war allow them to create a future together? For those of us in the generation defined by this war, The Lotus Eaters should be required reading.
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