Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Lotus Eaters: A Novel (Reading Group…

The Lotus Eaters: A Novel (Reading Group Gold) (original 2010; edition 2010)

by Tatjana Soli

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8358310,789 (3.99)148
Title:The Lotus Eaters: A Novel (Reading Group Gold)
Authors:Tatjana Soli
Info:St. Martin's Griffin (2010), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library, Books Read 2012
Tags:fiction, american, war, vietnam, historical, photography

Work details

The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli (2010)


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 148 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 83 (next | show all)
I so wanted to love this book, and I think the writing is really good. But the characters are made of cardboard, and the plot is so predictable. So I felt kind of meh by the end. ( )
  gayla.bassham | Nov 7, 2016 |
Beautiful writing, wonderful characters. The story spans ten years and there are a lot of characters to keep track of but Soli does a terrific job of combining love stories with a story about the effects of war on a land and people. ( )
  mamashepp | Mar 29, 2016 |
Beautiful writing, wonderful characters. The story spans ten years and there are a lot of characters to keep track of but Soli does a terrific job of combining love stories with a story about the effects of war on a land and people. ( )
  mamashepp | Mar 29, 2016 |
A fine combination of literary fiction and the perils, insanity and horrors of war. ( )
  ndpmcIntosh | Mar 21, 2016 |
I had such high hopes for this book. Basically it’s the story of a young woman combat photographer in Vietnam towards the end of the war, Helen Adams, and the two men she loves – Sam Darrow (a seasoned photographer who has a reputation), and Linh (the Vietnamese man who is Darrow’s and then Helen’s assistant).

I didn’t find anything about the relationships believable. I didn’t feel the passion or tenderness or compassion or love between any of them. The mark of good writing is that the author will show, not tell; Soli tells the reader over and over that these people love one another, but she doesn’t show us this. In fact, she shows us the opposite. Each of them seems closed off emotionally from anyone else; each follows his/her own agenda without regard to the feelings of anyone else; each of them behaves poorly (to say the least) in relation to the others. I thought they took foolish chances and I really didn’t care what happened to any of them; I just wanted it to be over with so I could get on with another book.

So why did I give it 2 stars? Soli includes a long bibliography of works she used to research Vietnam and Southeast Asia during the time period portrayed in the book. I don’t know if she ever actually visited the country, but if she has not, then kudos to her for managing to convey such a sense of the atmosphere of the place. I could smell the tropical jungle, feel the torpidity brought on by heat and fatigue, and hear the din of traffic and busy city streets. I give her 2 stars for creating this atmosphere, but I really don’t recommend the book.
( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 13, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 83 (next | show all)
Tatjana Soli’s haunting debut novel begins where it ought to end. In this quietly mesmerizing book about journalists covering the war in Vietnam, the first glimpses of the place are the most familiar. The year is 1975. Americans are in a state of panic as North Vietnamese forces prepare to occupy Saigon. The looters, the desperate efforts to escape this war zone, the mobs surrounding the United States Embassy, the overcrowded helicopters struggling to rise above the chaos: these images seem to introduce Ms. Soli’s readers to a story they already know.
"An impressive debut novel about a female photographer covering the Vietnam War...A visceral story about the powerful and complex bonds that war creates. It raises profound questions about professional and personal lives that are based on, and often dependent on, a nation’s horrific strife. Graphic but never gratuitous, the gripping, haunting narrative explores the complexity of violence, foreignness, even betrayal. Moving and memorable." —Kirkus Reviews (starred)
added by TatjanaSoli | editKirkus (Feb 1, 2010)
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
For my mom,

who taught me about

brave girls crossing oceans
First words
The city teetered in a dream state.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312611579, Hardcover)

A unique and sweeping debut novel of an American female combat photographer in the Vietnam War, as she captures the wrenching chaos and finds herself torn between the love of two men. 

On a stifling day in 1975, the North Vietnamese army is poised to roll into Saigon. As the fall of the city begins, two lovers make their way through the streets to escape to a new life. Helen Adams, an American photojournalist, must take leave of a war she is addicted to and a devastated country she has come to love. Linh, the Vietnamese man who loves her, must grapple with his own conflicted loyalties of heart and homeland. As they race to leave, they play out a drama of devotion and betrayal that spins them back through twelve war-torn years, beginning in the splendor of Angkor Wat, with their mentor, larger-than-life war correspondent Sam Darrow, once Helen's infuriating love and fiercest competitor, and Linh's secret keeper, boss and truest friend.

Tatjana Soli paints a searing portrait of an American woman’s struggle and triumph in Vietnam, a stirring canvas contrasting the wrenching horror of war and the treacherous narcotic of obsession with the redemptive power of love. Readers will be transfixed by this stunning novel of passion, duty and ambition among the ruins of war.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:38 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A novel that follows an American female combat photographer in the Vietnam War as she captures the wrenching chaos and finds herself torn between the love of two men.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alum

Tatjana Soli's book Lotus Eaters was available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

Sign up to get a pre-publication copy in exchange for a review.

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
169 wanted

Popular covers


Average: (3.99)
2 11
2.5 4
3 36
3.5 14
4 102
4.5 27
5 55

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 115,183,641 books! | Top bar: Always visible