Book Review: The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli

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I got this book for free as part of the TLC Book Tour promotion.
St. Martin’s Griffin has made available one (1) copy of “The Lotus Eaters”  to be given to one lucky winner – enter below.

My  rating for The Lotus Eaters – 5

About:
The Lotus Eaters” by Tatjana Soli (Website) is a fictional book about the Vietnam War.  Helen Adams is a combat photographer, a woman “in a young man’s profession” is drawn to Vietnam after the loss of her brother in combat.

Get a discount on “The Lotus Eaters” through the ManOfLaBook affiliate account on:
Amazon |Book Depository US | Book Depository UK

Thoughts:
The phrase “Lotus Eaters” comes from Homer’s “Odyssey” and refers for one’s will to return home being robbed away from them.  This is a clue to the rest of the book and how Helen, who is so used to documenting savagery through the eye of the lens, will find life at the US unwearyingly boring.

Helen is emotionally detached from her subject through the lens of the camera.  She documents atrocities but feels safe and distanced from behind her instrument.  Soli does an excellent job bringing to the reader the uncompromising horror of what Helen sees as well as the hypocrisy of war on both sides.

Somehow Ms. Soli has managed to create an authentic experience in a fictional novel.  The reader gets submerged into Helen’s experiences and her own private war.  The strength of the descriptive narrative comes not from an overly detailed account, but just enough to let the imagination ignite.

The Lotus Eaters” is an excellent novel, haunting, confrontational and compelling on several levels. While not written in chronological order, the book is stimulating and thought provoking as it does not deal with politics, but with the people impacted by decisions of world leaders thousands of miles away.

Synopsis:
Helen Adams’ brother died in Vietnam and to her mother’s dismay she feels a pull towards the country.  Helen arrives without any experience joining a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Sam Darrow who shows her the ropes.  Through brazen luck and skill she becomes known by her own right as a brave (and lucky) professional photographer.

Helen falls in love with Darrow as well as with her (and his) mysterious Vietnamese assistant Linh who also has his own sad history.  Together they go through turmoil and danger, much like the country they are documenting.

Get a discount on “The Lotus Eaters” through the ManOfLaBook affiliate account on:
Amazon |Book Depository US | Book Depository UK

Rules:

    • Contest is for one (1) new copy of “The Lotus Eaters”.
    • There will be ONE (1) WINNER
    • Must be a US / Canada mailing Address
    • Ends Monday January 18, 2011
    • Winners will be chosen using Random.org
    • Winners will have 24 hours after my initial contact to write back their mailing address, otherwise alternate winners will be picked

Congratulations: texas_gal45@

Zohar – Man of la Book

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