The Lotus Eaters

The Lotus Eaters

Book - 2010
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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.
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2010.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780312674441
Branch Call Number: F SOLI
Characteristics: 389 pages : map ; 25 cm


From Library Staff

"It's 1975, and the North Vietnamese army is poised to roll into Saigon. As the city falls into chaos, two lovers make their way across the city to escape to a new life. Helen Adams, an American photojournalist, must take leave of a devastated country she has come to love. Nguyen Pran Linh, ... Read More »

It's 1975, and the North Vietnamese army is poised to roll into Saigon. As the city falls into chaos, two lovers--American photojournalist, Helen Adams, and Nguyen Pran Linh, the man who loves her--make their way across the city to escape to a new life.

From the critics

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Dec 26, 2015

Explains the war in Viet Nam as experienced by the self absorbed, not necessarily American either though American naivete is on display with respect to Lan especially. Life on the edge in other words until there is no edge left, or life now either.

Jun 28, 2014

It was a rocky start for me. But just as I begin to tire of the snapshot narrative and overwrought, poorly punctuated prose (some of which can probably be chalked up to eBook formatting), Soli spouts a turn of phrase so beautiful it makes me catch my breath...and continue reading. After the first 50 pages I no longer notice the hiccoughs, so enchanted am I by the web of story and vivid characters and splendid landscape. At the end I had to stop myself from turning immediately back to page one and beginning again. This book lingers.

Mar 01, 2013

I can't write like most of the commentors here but very much enjoyed. Subtle nuances, and descriptions brought this tale to life vividly. Enjoyed reading about the conflict thorugh the eyes of a female that was on the front lines (even if fictiously)

branch_reviews Nov 03, 2012

A debut novel with three main characters whose lives are affected by the Vietnam War.
Helen, a photographer, who lost her brother in the conflict, comes to Vietnam hoping to find out what really happened to him. She quickly falls into an affair with another war photographer, Sam Darrow. Being the first female photographer to be sent to a combat area, Sam assigns his Vietnamese assistant, Linh, to escort her when she goes to combat areas. Linh wants nothing more than to escape the war, while Sam and Helen are drawn to it and are unable to escape until tragedy strikes. For readers of the One Book One Burlington title. Reviewed by JK

Apr 29, 2012

excellent read about a female photographer in Vietnam during the Vietnamese War

Jul 29, 2011

A gripping, loveable, must read book. Soli could make you hate a puppy and love a pitbull. This book will pull out your emotions and twist them till they aren't sure whether or not they are what they are. Stunning characters, and a whole nother view on war, especially the Vietnam war. Beautiful descriptions, I could practically smell Saigon. The only bad thing I can say is that it was confusing at times as to who was saying/thinking what because of the constant swich of views in the book, but very minor. Recommended.

BPLNextBestAdults Jul 18, 2011

This novel is a love story about a female war photographer, Helen Adams who is covering the Vietnam War. It is part love story and also recounts the horror of war.
The three main characters, Sam Darrow (war correspondent), Helen Adams (war photographer) and Linh (photographer’s assistant and lover) are all risk takers.

Helen Adams first arrives in Vietnam in 1965 as a college dropout and a novice photographer. Helen comes to Vietnam in the hopes of documenting and understanding the combat that killed her younger brother.
Soli’s novel is very powerful and describes in vivid detail the fall of Vietnam, the horror
of the many battles that are fought and the final days before the American evacuation of Saigon.

May 16, 2011

I adored this book. I simply adored it. How difficult it is to capture the myriad of tiny ways in which the heart changes over time.
Soli did it.
This is the novel I recommend to all my friends when they are looking for a good read.
Thoughtful, elegant, gritty, moving. A lovely work.

debwalker Feb 09, 2011

Ten years ago when Tatjana Soli began to write her novel about female journalists in Viet Nam, she was warned that it might not sell. Instead, this prophetic tale about America's foreign wars received a front page review in the New York Times Book Review and was chosen one of the most important books of last year.

Jan 18, 2011


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