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White Oleander (Oprah's Book Club) Paperback – Bargain Price, May 1, 2000
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The story is told from Astrid Magnussen's point of view. She is a young girl (story goes from age 12-18), who lives with her mother, Ingrid, who is a smooth, freeminded poet. They live in an apartment in Hollywood, California. They go to museums, read books by Dmitry and Dostoyevsky, and do poetry readings. Ingrid uses her charm to lure in men and have carefree relationships, but she gets too serious in one of these relationships. After the man breaks it off with Ingrid, she kills him. She is then put into prison and sentenced for life.
So begins Astrid's life of foster care and life altering changes. Throughout the story, Astrid is at 6 different homes, including a children's center. Each home is filled with people and experiences that all take their toll on Astrid and her upbringing. These include: getting involved with a MUCH older man, gun shot wounds, starvation, and a death, to name a few. During her time at these homes, she corresponds with her mother with letters, in which Ingrid is still trying to shape her daughter...even through prison. Astrid soon realizes that her mother wants her to remain unhappy in these homes, so she will still be "needed" by her daughter, and so that she can still influence Astrid into becoming like her.
This is a book where you hope and plead for a good ending, but you're never sure if it will happen or not. This books is remarkable. You'll be mesmorized by Astrid Magnussen adventures (or perhaps this is the repeated story of many fostered children throughout the world).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read this book a long time ago. It was powerful enough for me to want to read it again.
I got it for a great price, thanks to Amazon and the seller. Thank you!
Amazingly beautiful prose. Would definitely recommend this book to friends.Published 18 days ago by Danielle C.
Amazing book, well written , grabbed me from the beginning and I could not put it downPublished 20 days ago by April
I love Oprah. she is an amazing story teller. you might it is strange to hear her read all the sexual stuff, but it's ok. she handles it well. Read morePublished 22 days ago by almondmilk
Janet Fitch's story of an adolescent girl shuttled through foster homes after her mother is imprisoned for murder offers a moving and compelling depiction of fractured and rebuilt... Read morePublished 28 days ago by Greg
This has become my favorite novel and I read A LOT. Fiction and non-fiction. To say Janet Fitch has a way with words is an understatement. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Christine