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White Oleander by Janet Fitch (2000, Paperback, Movie Tie-In)

Janet Fitch | ISBN-10: 0316284955 | ISBN-13: 9780316284950
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Product description
Synopsis
Everywhere hailed as a novel of rare beauty and power, White Oleander tells the unforgettable story of Ingrid, a brilliant poet imprisoned for murder, and her daughter, Astrid, whose odyssey through a series of Los Angeles foster homes-each its own universe, with its own laws, its own dangers, its own hard lessons to be learned-becomes a redeeming and surprising journey of self-discovery.

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


Product Identifiers
ISBN-100316284955
ISBN-139780316284950

Key Details
AuthorJanet Fitch
Number Of Pages480 pages
Edition DescriptionMovie Tie-In
FormatPaperback
Publication Date2000-05-01
LanguageEnglish
PublisherLittle Brown & Company

Additional Details
Copyright Date1999

Dimensions
Weight15.1 Oz
Height1.3 In.
Width5.5 In.
Length8.2 In.

Target Audience
GroupTrade

Classification Method
LCCN98-050371
LC Classification NumberPS3556.18155W47 1999
Dewey Decimal813.5/4
Dewey Edition21

eBay Product ID: EPID1622747
Certain data records © 2014 Bowker. Rights in cover images reserved by owners.

Reviews & Research

Customer Reviews

Average review score based on 9 user reviews

100%

of customers recommend this product

Rating distributions

Created: 09/26/06

Praise for White Oleander

I bought this book not long after it was first released, on my quest to conquer all the books in Oprah's book club.

Janet Fitch could not have written a better book to debut her abilities with. White Oleander is pure genius! I found the book hard to put down, even though it has almost 500 pages. The book presents the story in such a living, breathing manner that the characters are easily brought to life in your mind.

The story is about a young girl whose mother has been imprisoned for murdering an ex-boyfriend. This mother is particularly strange to me; she's very eclectic and poetic. Her daughter is quite like her, but has grown to stand in her mother's shadow. When the mother is imprisoned, Astrid, the young girl, must learn to live in a series of foster homes around the area with all types of people trying to tell her how to behave and what to believe. Astrid has few friends and becomes somewhat alienated. Gradually, she comes to live with herself and grows away from her mother.

This is a typical novel of self-discovery with some odd twists and turns along the way. The voice of this book will leave a lasting impression on you long after you've finished reading, which is partly what makes it so special. It also presents controversial issues and brings awareness to alternative living conditions, such as foster care, in a very human, engrossing way.

A must for anyone seeking a great, long book with amazing emotional power.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 07/09/06

Absolutely wonderful book from a first time author.

White Oleander by Janet Fitch is the story of a vain, toxic mother and her young daughter. The mother, Ingrid, is imprisoned fairly early on the book, but not before scarring her daughter with her on and off coldness and neglect. The rest of the story is about the daughter, Astrid, who goes through a series of foster homes, hoping against hope to find love and acceptance. You'll find yourself aching to put your arms around Astrid throughout her trials and struggles. My favorite thing about this story is the language used. Janet Fitch is a master of description, metaphors and similes. I've read a lot of books, and this is one of my all-time favorites. It really is remarkable!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 04/09/07

A contemporary read like non-other

White Oleander will be like no other book you've read before. The relationship and dynamics between mother and daughter is to often dolled up or played down. The author present the issues that arise as a daughter tries to find herself and step out of a mothers shadow and deal with the fact that even though she'd always thought her mother to be perfect, she wasn't. Powerful characters and wonderful story telling skills come to the forefront in this novel, you will not want to put it down once you've read the first page.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 08/08/09

Much Needed Book

This book was shared with me by my husband's oldest daughter. When his youngest daughter was 2-years-old she and her mother vanished from his life. His daughter had been left with a caretaker in another state and the mother vanished. He managed to find them, demand the child for him to raise, and did a beautiful job of raising the daughter. I would not have read this book if I had known what it was about but that would have been my loss. During the reading of this book I thought over and over "That could have been his daughter," if he had not rescued that darling little girl. The mother was an alcoholic, drug user, prostitute, the whole bad picture. He never told the child anything negative about the mother but did allow visitation when the mother tried to straighten out her act. This was a potentially extremely destructive situation but with his will to do what was right a child was saved. She is a beautiful young person with a beautiful family, all happy, all terrific. I would recommend this book to all.

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Created: 08/03/10

White Oleander

I was a sad story,and probably more truth than fiction. That's what made it hard to hang in there and finish it. It's not a story that you want to remember,and or read again. There are better books to read for the hours it
takes to read one ! .....It was mundane, I did not care much for it !
I decided to read it because it had Oprah's Book Club seal on it.......?

I do like reading books by Khaled Hosseini,Nicholas Sparks,Jean Aul,Nevada Barr,
Genell Dellin,Ken Follett, Laveryl Spenser .......ect. Books like these take you away from your everyday routine !........As Always,...Alice

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