Book Review: The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli

January 11, 2011


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.

St. Martin’s Griffin has made available one (1) copy of “The Lotus Eaters” to be given to one lucky winner – enter below.

Book Review: The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana SoliMy rating for The Lotus Eaters – 5
Buy The Lotus Eaters from*


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.


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.


    • 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
    • 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
Dis­claimer:I got this book for free from TLC Book Tours
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

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The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli


  • SharonHenningJanuary 11, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    You make this book and the book about Cleopatra very interesting. Thanks for reviewing them because I wouldn’t have considered reading them otherwise.

    • zoharJanuary 11, 2011 at 12:22 pm

      Thanks Sharon, they are very interesting I’m glad you enjoyed my reviews.

  • lisa :)January 11, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    I’d heard of this book before but I didn’t know much about it. Great review and thanks for hosting a giveaway!

    • zoharJanuary 12, 2011 at 12:23 am

      It’s a wonderful book Lisa. Thanks for the kind words.

  • Reena PerumalJanuary 16, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    Thanks for the invitation to join the giveaway. I’m afraid I don’t live in the US or Canada, which is why I hadn’t signed up.

  • Juju at Tales of WhimsyFebruary 16, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    This sounds reallly good.
    Great review!
    (not an entry)

  • BookQuoterMarch 21, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Once again, thanks for linking your review. I will definitely read her next book.

  • rhondaJune 16, 2012 at 1:03 am

    Thanks for review I hadn’t. Heard about this book now cant wait to read it.

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