Nicole B. (New York, New York)
A Stunning Debut
Complex characters, a riveting portrayal of the atrocities of the Vietnam War, and glimpse into the live of the photojournalists tasked with covering the war had me transported completely throughout the duration of the novel. Soli is adept at fully shading the emotions of her characters so that you feel for them as they not only make decisions for themselves but endure heartbreak at the decisions of others. Helen is a stunning character and I was fascinated with her from her beginnings as a female photographer in the world of men through her progression to staying on in the dangerous last days of the war. Beautifully tod, I was able to see every last picture in my mind. I highly this novel.
Barbara J. (West Valley City, Utah)
A must read
This book is well written. It is set in Vietnam during the Vietnam War about a woman photographer and the experiences she had covering the War. I was quite impressed with the description of the land where it be the jungle or Saigon. I was transported there, while reading.
Judith G. (Ewa Beach, HI)
Deja vu and VietNam
I read this hoping I would recognize places and buildings in VietNam that I have seen and I did. Tatjana Soli captured the cloying heat as well as the green countryside and villages. With three (for me) competing protagonists the story flowed easily between and among their lives. This is a rich description of a country torn by war while citizens remained stoic and willing to bear what was brought to them. I've been to VietNam 5 times and think this novel could be an opening for others who think they should go but haven't...to do just that. It offers the opportunity to learn of the customs and culture of the Vietnamese. The Author's notes and the General Bibliography should be invaluable to those wanting to read more about the area and the war written by various authors.
Kathy G. (Alamo, CA)
The Lotus Eaters
I have hesitated for over a week to start my review. The reading experience has been so thought provoking I have been a little overwhelmed.
From a personal experience, my husband and I lived in Panama during the middle of the war. (The U.S. Canal Zone in Panama was one of the strategic training areas for the Army Special Forces. ) Most of our friends were deployed while we were living there. I was in my early twenties and had no realistic idea what our young men really faced until I read the book.
Tatjana Soli's depiction of war time Vietnam - the beauty of its people as well as the horrors of war is masterful. The character development is both complex and compelling. Her descriptions are beautiful. One feels as though one is walking beside Helen Adams whether she is traveling along the crowded streets of Saigon or through the smoldering heat of the war zone.
I highly recommend The Lotus Eaters. Soli's balance of violence, beauty and love yields a riveting novel that is hard to put down from the very beginning to the very end.
Gail B. (Albuquerque, NM)
20th Century Lotus Eaters
These modern-day Lotus Eaters are hypnotized by desire -- for one more ultimate war photo, one more magazine cover, one more Pulitzer. A tough and touching, magically written, and well researched novel of the Vietnam war years as seen through the eyes of Helen Adams and her fellow photojournalists. The characters beautifully drawn. A must-read -- twice!
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.
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.