Tatjana Soli’s The Lotus Eaters is another novel on the war in Vietnam that has received a lot of positive reviews. It cannot be called a classic as it only came out last year. So of all the books of this readalong it is by far the most recent. I really don’t know all that much about it and will therefore just add the blurb that should help you decide whether you’d like to read along or not.
As the fall of Saigon begins in 1975, two lovers make their way through the streets, desperately trying to catch one of the last planes out. Helen Adams, a photojournalist, must leave behind a war she has become addicted to and a devastated country she loves. Linh, her lover, must grapple with his own conflicting loyalties to the woman from whom he can’t bear to be parted, and his country.
Betrayal and self-sacrifice follows, echoing the pattern of their relationship over the war-torn years, beginning in the splendour of Angkor Wat, with jaded, cynical, larger-than-life war correspondent Sam Darrow, Helen’s greatest love and fiercest competitor, driven by demons she can only hope to vanquish.
Spurred on by the need to get the truth of the war out to an international audience, and the immense personal cost this carries, Sam and Helen’s passionate and all-consuming love is tested to the limit. This mesmerising novel carries resonance across contemporary wars with questions of love and heart-breaking betrayal interwoven with the conflict.
After having been so impressed by Tim O’Brien’s book I think I will explore more literature on the war in Vietnam in the future and I’m looking forward to read Soli’s novel.
22 thoughts on “Literature and War Readalong October 28 2011: The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli”
I just got this book from the library and am looking forward to it. If I’m up to writing a review I will let you know. I look forward to your thoughts on the story.
Thanks, Sandra. You are always welcome just to join the discussion. There is no need to write a review but if you do so, I will of course add the link to the post. From everything I heard it should be a very good book.
I read this book last year for the War Through the Generations Vietnam War Challenge and really liked it. I’m looking forward to the discussion!
I’m very curious to see how it is. I bought it right after it came out and if I hadn’t included it in the readalong I would probabaly have read before. I’m glad your will be joining the discussion.
I have read many great reviews of The Lotus Eaters. I didn’t know that there is a readalong coming up…are you hosting it Caroline? I’d love to participate
Yes, I’m the host. I’d love to have you join. You can either just participate in the discussions or review on the same day/weekend. The 28th of October. I hope you can make it.
I hope bloggers at this spot will be willing to consider my e-novel, “A Lesion of Dissent”, which explores the Vietnam war years from the perspectives of exile and dissent within the military. There are excerpts at my website
Scenes and Excerpts from “A Lesion of Dissent”
There’s a generous free sample at the Smashwords.com website (link at the website above) in about any format, and if “A Lesion of Dissent” appeals to you, I’ve priced it at only US$0,99. I appreciate your consideration and hope you enjoy my novel as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Thanks for visiting, Karl. I can’t promise anything at the moment but I will have a look and so will others, I’m sure.
I had not heard of this before you listed it as one of your readalong titles, but I am now more interested in reading it after liking the O’Brien so much. I’ve only read the first few pages, so too early to tell, but she caught my interest right from the start.
That’s great to hear. She was praised for her style in the media. She is also a teacher of Creative Writing. I’m very curious.
Looking forward to it with skepticism. Hope I’m wrong.
I hope so too. We just shouldn’t compare it with other Vietnam novels, I guess. She has no combat experience, it’s going to be very different.
I won’t have time to read it but I’ll read your review and follow the discussion.
That would be nice, thanks.
I am so over-committed this month – worse than last month even! But I’m very much enjoying following along. I’ll be getting a copy of the Tim O’Brien for Mister Litlove, I think.
If he hasn’t read it yet, that’s a good idea, i think. You could read the first one. After all, they are also individual stories and the first one is stunning.
This was a pretty good book.
I’m glad to hear it.:)
The Lotus Eaters sounds so intriguing. I’m going to see if I can pick this up at the library and read along with you.
That would be so great. I hope they have it. I’m very curious to see how the writing is. She’s got a lot of praise for it. Journalism and war is a topic I’ve always been interested in as well. And here it is for a change a female journalist.
I can’t join the readalong, but I’ve heard a lot of good things about this book too. Thanks for the reminder, Caroline.
You are welcome. Maybe you will read it another time. I haven’t started yet but will do so in a day or two.