Wounded Birds of War
This novel pulls the reader in with old-fashioned powerful storytelling. It offers tension, atmosphere, compelling characters, strong plot. But what makes "The Lotus Eaters" special - and maybe a little amazing because presumably the author did not experience this place at this time herself - is the depiction of war-time Vietnam. Though the primary focus appears to be on the American perspective, largely through the eyes of the photojournalist Helen, what comes across as more complex and more unique is the Vietnamese perspective. It is borne mostly by Linh, Soli's strongest creation, but also by minor characters such as Mr. Bao, Grandmother Suong and the orphan Lan. It is not just that the Americans don't really understand what is going on here, but that for all their firepower and wealth, they hardly matter.
Soli gives us breathtaking images, not just the ones of war but just as memorable scenes such as the young women singing love songs on the riverbanks, the tiger appearing like a dream image in a high mountain clearing.
It is not a perfect book. There are many jarring point of view shifts in mid-paragraph. The story really took hold beginning in chapter two and remained hard to put down through chapter thirteen, then flagged a bit. Helen's quest, especially when it moves outside Vietnam, is uneven in its hold on the reader. But overall it is a moving, absorbing, masterfully told story.
Rated of 5
by Ann D. (CLEARFIELD, PA)
A Journey Back
A beautifully written novel, not just about war, The Lotus Eaters captures the beauty of the country and its people during the horror of the Vietnam War. Helen Adams, an ill-equiped American photojournalist, who when faced with the reality of combat, decides to stay and do the work that no one else feels she is cut out for. Once committed, she may never go back.
By getting a close tight shot the camera can capture the soul of its subject. Tatjana Soli has done just that in her character development, and the drama staged between them. Her use of prose frames each scene in a way that will draw the reader in only to "to forget all thoughts of return.
This is a fabulous read and Tatjana Soli is an author to watch.
Rated of 5
by Kathryn K. (Oceanside, CA)
The best read of 2010 The Lotus Eaters, by Tatana Soli harkens the reader back the Viet Nam era; a time of dissent, passion and pain for the American people. One might ask why would you want to revisit that period of our history. But this is a story you don’t want to miss!
You will experience the war from the perspective of a young female photo journalist named Helen, who learns what war is and the havoc it can play in everyday life. The characters in this story are finely drawn and very human. The love story that unfolds is poignant and powerful. Viet Nam becomes a place of more than war torn tragedy for the reader and for the characters whose lives are entangled in page turning plots that doesn’t let you go until the last page.
I find myself thinking about the book and will be so glad when it is published so I can discuss it with other readers, It will make a great book club read. Could I have already found the best read of 2010?
Rated of 5
by Susan R. (Julian, NC)
This novel by first time author Tatjana Soli was a haunting depiction of the war in Vietnam from several different fronts. We saw the view of the US military, the view of the Vietnamese civilians and the views of the war photographers who were frequently caught in the middle. The main character, Helen Adams, grows in her understanding of the war through out the novel. She starts out as not being sure why she is there or what she is doing and ends up a stronger woman. It was a fantastic book and one that I couldn't put down once I started reading it.
Rated of 5
by Shelby L. (Hamden, CT)
Historically and emotionally satisfying
This book will haunt you with its images of Vietnam.
Helen Adams, a photojournalist arrives there in the hopes of finding out what happened to her brother. She is taken by the country, it's people and her motivation to deliver award winning photos and subjects herself to war, chaos and love in her endeavor.
The writing is beautiful, spare yet full and I could feel the heat in the jungle and smell the aromas of Saigon and the countryside as I read. The characters are well developed and you feel their anguish as they attempt to survive in this war torn country.
I highly recommend "The Lotus Eaters'
Rated of 5
by Priscilla B. (Marietta, GA)
The Lotus Eaters
A well written story. The author takes you into the world of photojournalism and Vietnam 1965-1975. Soli sites extensive research on Vietnam and I think that comes through in the story.
She just seemed to "get it" on so many levels. The passion for a job/art, human relations, and the cultural of the country. The book will appeal to anyone who enjoys an interesting and well written story. It goes well beyond being just another wartime love story.
Rated of 5
by Susan F. (Rabun Gap, GA)
Compelling Story of War
Amazing captivating, I found myself immediately drawn into this compelling story of love and war. Page after page was quickly read and absorbed. The feeling of really being there in those bitter years of the Vietnam War was intense. The main characters, Helen Adams, Sam Darrow and Linh, were all well developed and very human. The plot holds you like a taut sting throughout the book and only releases you at the very end. An incredible read and one that I highly recommend.
Judge rules unused Borders gift cards to be worthless(May 23 2013) Borders owes nothing to holders of roughly $210.5 million of gift cards that had not been used by the time the bookstore chain shut down, a Manhattan federal...