The Lotus Eaters: A Novel

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St. Martin's Press, Mar 30, 2010 - Fiction - 400 pages
70 Reviews

A New York Times Best Seller! A New York Times Notable Book!

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.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - gayla.bassham - LibraryThing

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. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mamashepp - LibraryThing

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. Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

The Fall
1
Angkor
45
A Splendid Little War
69
Indian County
90
Chieu Hoi
110
Haa
126
Hoi Chanh
145
Xa
162
A Map of the Earth
229
Ca Dao
253
Back to the World
271
Hang Hum Noc Ran
295
Tay Nguyen
316
Nghia
327
The Ocean of Milk
352
Dong Thanh
381

Tiens
182
Thien Ha
198
Bao Chi
209
Authors Notes
387
Acknowledgments
391
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Tatjana Soli's short stories have been widely published, nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and twice cited in the 100 Distinguished Stories in Best American Short Stories. The Lotus Eaters, her debut novel, was a New York Times bestseller and Editors Choice and a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Award. Born in Salzburg, Austria, Soli attended Stanford University and the Warren Wilson M.F.A. program. She lives in Orange County, California.

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