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White Oleander: A Novel by Janet Fitch

White Oleander: A Novel (original 1999; edition 2001)

by Janet Fitch (Author)

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9,691152476 (3.88)159
Title:White Oleander: A Novel
Authors:Janet Fitch (Author)
Info:Little, Brown and Company (2001), 496 pages
Collections:Your library

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White Oleander by Janet Fitch (1999)


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English (147)  Dutch (4)  German (1)  All languages (152)
Showing 1-5 of 147 (next | show all)
This was a well-written book, but it dragged out far too long, and got boring. ( )
  kat_the_bookcat | Feb 7, 2019 |
white Oleander
by Janet Finch
Little, Brown & Co.
4.8 / 5

The lives of Ingrid and Astrid Magnussen are disturbing and gritty. Ingrid, a poet raising her daughter alone, is sent to prison for murder. Her, daughter, Astrid is sent to the first of four foster homes in the Los Angeles/ Hollywood area. Each new foster home is more dysfunctional and hard-boiled than the last. Astrid's story is one of losing yourself, finding yourself and the resilience of the human spirit- Astrid rebuilds her life as a survivor and finally, as an artist.

This was inspiring and profound, but very disturbing in parts. Beautifully written, it reads like prose, the diction and wording wonderfully done. Fantastic moving novel. ( )
  over.the.edge | Dec 17, 2018 |
White Oleander is dark and depressing, but beautifully written. My opinion of Ingrid flowed with Astrid’s feelings that changed as more time passed. You miss her, you hate her, you wish she would go away then suddenly it becomes you want to know shes at least not worst mother in the world and surprisingly she does care somewhat, Ingrid is just very flawed. Astrid goes though a lot of homes with different dynamics and Astrid working through them to find her place. She discovers who she really is when she is away from her mom and its heartbreaking at times because she can be in a hopeless state of mind thinking she doesn’t deserve to have hope and a future then she actually accepts there are options for her out there only for it to come crashing back down. I felt frustrated at first at the ending, Astrid still wanting to be with Ingrid, but she struggled with that the entire book so it only makes sense for her to want to be back with her mom, but has reservations (rightfully so too). There are parts that are uncomfortable, but that is what makes the novel feel good to read as well as the flow of the words. Highly recommend. ( )
  wellreadcatlady | Oct 4, 2018 |
Heartbreaking story that I can somewhat relate to. I loved the movie so I thought I'd give the book a try, and I was not disappointed. The movie was pretty true to the text. Astrid's character really enlightened me to the mind of an artist, which as someone who has no artistic ability but great appreciation for its mastery, I appreciated. The diction is beautiful - very high language, but still able to communicate the social issue that is foster care. Aesthetically pleasing, yet sincere. ( )
  rnmdfrd | Sep 19, 2018 |
This was a bit of a busy month for me, so I thought I would try to listen to the book on tape, and I watched the movie. Not good, I got to my book club and they were talking about sections I had no recollection of at all. I guess I really do need to read it to absorb it, not just listen. So as a result, I picked up the book and read it.

This is the story of Astrid, a young girl who grows into a woman while in foster care. When Astrid is 12, her mother Ingrid poisons her boyfriend and is sent to prison. The book follows Astrid through various foster home as she grows, both physically and emotionally. Ultimately, this is a story of a girl growing into a young woman and finding herself, while leaving the shadow’s of her Mother’s personality behind.

To read my full review, see my blog: http://adventuresofabibliophile.blogspot.com/ ( )
  Serinde24 | Aug 17, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 147 (next | show all)
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To the man from Council Bluffs
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The Santa Anas blew in hot from the desert, shriveling the last of the spring grass into whiskers of pale straw.
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Losing a mother
Will not destine the strong soul
To a hopeless life.
(by Caroline77)

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0316284955, Paperback)

Oprah Book Club® Selection, May 1999: Astrid Magnussen, the teenage narrator of Janet Fitch's engrossing first novel, White Oleander, has a mother who is as sharp as a new knife. An uncompromising poet, Ingrid despises weakness and self-pity, telling her daughter that they are descendants of Vikings, savages who fought fiercely to survive. And when one of Ingrid's boyfriends abandons her, she illustrates her point, killing the man with the poison of oleander flowers. This leads to a life sentence in prison, leaving Astrid to teach herself the art of survival in a string of Los Angeles foster homes.

As Astrid bumps from trailer park to tract house to Hollywood bungalow, White Oleander uncoils her existential anxieties. "Who was I, really?" she asks. "I was the sole occupant of my mother's totalitarian state, my own personal history rewritten to fit the story she was telling that day. There were so many missing pieces." Fitch adroitly leads Astrid down a path of sorting out her past and identity. In the process, this girl develops a wire-tight inner strength, gains her mother's white-blonde beauty, and achieves some measure of control over their relationship. Even from prison, Ingrid tries to mold her daughter. Foiling her, Astrid learns about tenderness from one foster mother and how to stand up for herself from another. Like the weather in Los Angeles--the winds of the Santa Anas, the scorching heat--Astrid's teenage life is intense. Fitch's novel deftly displays that, and also makes Astrid's life meaningful. --Katherine Anderson

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:15 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

At the age of 12, Astrid has her world blown away when her mother is sentenced to life in prison for murdering her lover. Sharpened by harsh foster home environments, Astrid remakes herself as a survivor, and ultimately, an artist.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 12 descriptions

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