Welcome to the KPL Book Club Blogspot

Welcome to the internet home of the Kilbourn Public Library (KPL) Book Club. The KPL Book Club meets at the library once a month. A book is chosen for each month and then members of the book club meet the last Monday and Wednesday of every month for lively discussion and treats. While we can’t offer you treats via the internet, this KPL Reads blog was designed for those of you who would like to participate in the book club but don’t have time to join us at meetings. Each month KPL staff will post discussion topics and questions to get you “talking”. Join in the discussion by adding a post to the blog. Click on the word comments below the post you want to "talk" about and write your comment. Be sure to check back often to see feedback and comments.

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Kilbourn Public Library Book Discussion is reading The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli for April.  In this superb novel, American photojournalist Helen Adams is drawn to the turmoil of the Vietnam War, which cost her brother his life.  While her lens soon makes her as famous as her pictures, Helen survives by taking cues from the jungle-savvy colleagues, who are her paramours.  But she must learn for herself the real trick of her trade:  how to find truth amid the fog of war. 

Tatjana Soli paints a searing portrait of an American woman's struggle and triumph in Vietnam, a stirrring 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. 

The novel begins with the fall of Saigon, and then moves back in time twelve years to the beginning of the war.  How do you think this structure contributed to your experience of the novel?  Did this glimpse of Helen in 1975 influence how you related to her character at earlier points in her life?  Did knowing the outcome affect your judgement of her actions and the action of those around her?

Throughout the novel, Helen finds herself in love, and loved by , two very different men.  How would you  characterize each of her relationships?  Did you prefer Helen in one relationship over the other?   What are each relationship's strengths and weaknesses?   Which man do you ultimately believe is Helen's great love?

What do you think the future holds for Helen at the end of the novel?  For Linh?

Let us know what you think of The Lotus Eaters.