The story seesaws between moments of relaxation and an understated tension as Helen insists on doing what the male photographers do, especially the legendary Sam Darrow. Her depiction of Vietnam with all its natural beauty:mountains, colors, clouds, flowers, rain forest contrasts with the strawberry hair of a soldier she befriended laying in the midst of this beauty, blown to bits, feet from her photographic perch.
The war takes its toll on people who give their all to it...forgetting who they were and not understanding what they've become their lotus becomes obsession with success....obsession with love, both having, wanting and forgetting it.....obsession to overcome the fear of their immortality.
Tatiana's writing captured me....Vietnam captured me. Odd as I never understood or cared about Vietnam until I read this book. That's what good writing does. The writer not only transported me to Vietnam, she immersed me in the culture: the food, the psychology, the customs and more. In fact, she is so thorough in her research that the reader would have thought her Vietnamese; she isn't. She's a petite blonde-headed Californian with an Austrian mother. I took a workshop she held at The Amelia Island Book Festival in an attempt to evolve/add more description to my own work. She is incredibly humble too.
Soli's book is for anyone, male or female. For writers, a must read......descriptive and writing that flows and a wonderful story line, sprouting side-lines that are just as enjoyable. Why am I tired? No spoiler alerts here BUT the last chapters are very, very tense. Enjoy the ride that is The Lotus Eaters by Tatiana Soli.