“A medic in the Mekong: Life and love in Laos” by Dr Alan Goodwin is a fascinating memoir set in pre-Communist Laos between 1967 and 1968. A British Doctor, who trained in Australia, joins a project to provide medical aid to Laos. Shocked by the primitive conditions he finds there he does his best to help and improve the standards of care provided.
Meanwhile a big focus of the novel is on his love and sex life with explicit descriptions of encounters and the moral musings behind his conduct. Being brutally honest about religious and moral implications of his thoughts and actions we get to witness him fall in love with a very young local girl and how he comes to terms with this.
There are some interesting parts about the political situation in Laos of that time and also great descriptions of the culture, the climate and day to day life in Laos.
Minor editing and formatting issues aside the book is well written with a compassionate voice and a narrative that is a pleasure to follow.
If you mind the erotic content, I understand there is a less explicit version of the book available. If you don’t mind then you will find this book as entertaining, thoughtful and educational as I did.