Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Lotus Eaters

 The Lotus Eaters
by Tatjana Soli

Pages:  400
Published:  3/30/2010 by St. Martin's Press
Format:  ebook

3 out of 5 stars

The Lotus Eaters tells the story of Helen, a photojournalist who travels across the world to cover the Vietnam War.  While in Vietnam, she becomes obsessed and consumed by the war and the country, all the while making a name for herself as a renowned combat photographer.  Along the way, she develops relationships with two men:  Darrow, a fellow photojournalist and Linh, a Vietnamese man.  With help from Darrow, Linh and the war itself, Helen transforms from a naive young girl into an ambitious woman wrestling with the complexities of a harrowing war.

I gave this book three stars.  At times, I found it captivating and interesting.  At times, I was really bored.  When I put this book down, it was really hard to find the motivation to pick it back up again.  After I started reading this book, I read three other books before I got around to finishing this one.  I enjoyed the story, but the story was never calling my name to come back and read it.  I definitely felt like this book could have been edited and made shorter.  It was just too long.

It was obvious that Soli did her research on Vietnam.  Her descriptions of the people and places, along with attitudes about the war, felt truly authentic.   I also liked the idea of writing about female combat photographer, which I am guessing was (is) not very common.  I just wish this story would have done more to grab my attention and keep it all the way to the end.

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