Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli

I just finished The Lotus Eaters, a story about wartime Vietnam.  It took me longer to read than most, but I didn't want to rush it.
Helen Adams is a photojournalist who goes to Vietnam to find out how her brother died, planning to stay just a few months.  She is fresh and inexperienced, and she wants to prove herself in a world dominated by men.  Through her experiences she becomes hooked on the war and in love with the country, and she remains in Vietnam until the war comes to an end.  Helen meets Sam Darrow, a seasoned war photographer who becomes her lover.  The story is also about Linh, Sam Darrow's Vietnamese assistant with a secret past.  The story opens as the war is lost and Helen and Linh are trying to make their way to the American embassy to escape.  The suspenseful beginning hooked me right away.  The story then goes back to when Helen first arrived in Vietnam, and we gradually learn about the past of these characters.  I loved each one of them, especially Linh.  The book gave me a look at Vietnam that I've never had.  It was disturbing to read at times, but Soli gave a very complete picture of the war and the Vietnamese people.  I thought this book was excellent.  It was definitely a 5/5 for me.


Literary Feline said...

I am so glad you enjoyed this one as much as I did, Christine! Linh was my favorite character too.

Christine said...

Thank you for putting it on my radar, Wendy! I really loved it.