Book Reviews of White Oleander

White Oleander
White Oleander
Author: Janet Fitch
ISBN-13: 9781860498022
ISBN-10: 1860498027
Publication Date: 1999
Rating:
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 15

4.2 stars, based on 15 ratings
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

177 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed White Oleander on + 34 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
I could not put this book down! "White Oleander" was wonderful from the very first sentence to the very last and I have Oprah to thank for bringing author Janet Fitch to my attention. The story is narrated by Astrid - a teenage girl - who suffers through years of living in the foster care system while her mother Ingrid serves a life sentence for murdering her ex-lover. (I can just envision a younger Angelina Jolie-type playing the role of Astrid in the film version.) Each family that Astrid lives with has its own unique (yet sometimes cliched) cast of characters that are instrumental in shaping and transforming the young woman she becomes. This is a novel of self discovery the hard way. I personally cannot imagine the loneliness and terror that Astrid experienced while bouncing from home to home to home. Ingrid stays present in Astrid's unstable life through letters and occasional visits and their strained relationship is key to Astrid's development. The character are so real, the writing style is beautiful, the plot moves swiftly and the story weaves the reader through every human emotion possible. While I'm not a fan of the Oprah Winfrey show, I am a fan of her book club and this novel ranks up there as one of her best picks
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Helpful Score: 10
Yes, White Oleander is an Oprah Book Club selection, but I ended up enjoying it nonetheless. Astrid, an unusual name which seems to fit the character for some reason, is tight with her artistic, eccentric mother, Ingrid. Unfortunately, Ingrid murders her boyfriend and Astrid ends up in the foster care system of Los Angeles.

From home to home to home, Astrid is shuffled. Each situation ends up disastrous, and Astrid is affected. Each home is unique from the others, and an interesting cast of characters enter and leave the life of the protagonist.

I believe I got a better idea of what being a foster child, tossed about in "the system", would be like. Of course, the real experience would probably be even more difficult, but White Oleander gives the reader an idea. A bittersweet read and highly recommended.
reviewed White Oleander on + 17 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
This is a unique growing up tale of a young woman. It is almost impossible to put down and is full of surprises, from the bizarre to the hilarious. Foster home tales will never be the same. I highly recommend this novel.
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Helpful Score: 8
Amazing book. It gives far more insight and storylines than the movie. If you loved the movie, you will LOVE the book.
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Helpful Score: 6
One of the best books I've ever read. Very gripping, I couldn't put it down. The movie didn't do it justice in any way.
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Helpful Score: 6
This is one of my favorite books. It is sad, and moving, and inspiring. Don't pass it up, it's an amazing book.
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Helpful Score: 5
This was a fantastic read. Tragically beautiful descriptions and realistic relationships. Astrid's journey through the different foster homes and her struggle to fit in with each is something we can all relate to in some way. The struggles Astrid goes through with her mother are equally captivating. Anyone who enjoyed The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath will find something to love in this book.
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Helpful Score: 5
I found White Oleander to be a chilling yet well written tale of a rather disturbing mother-daughter relationship. I found the determination of the daughter despite the callousness of the mother enlightening. I also appreciated the other characters that were built around the daughter such as some of the adults in here life that served as foster parents.
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Helpful Score: 5
Simply, a great book. Filled with unforgettable characters and tragedies. The story follows Astrid, a young girl of 12, through a variety of good and bad foster homes after her mother goes to prison for murder. A fascinating view of the influence of parents and how one discovers one's own inner strength.
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Helpful Score: 5
This is a hard story to read but it is inspiring and definately thought provoking. I enjoyed it!
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Helpful Score: 4
I didn't like the book very much all told, but I liked the movie even less. It's an interesting story, but it was a little slow for me.
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Helpful Score: 4
A book about struggle, the bonds between a mother and daughter. Deeply sad as you journey with the daughter to find herself.
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Helpful Score: 3
very deep, alot different from movie, very good, but complex read...
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Helpful Score: 3
This book is not for the faint of heart. It follows a girl a series of foster homes and what she goes through. (I won't give more detail so as not ruin the book for others)



This is an Oprah's Book Club Book, and while it tears at your heart it is a good read.

There were a few moments in the book where it gets very wordy and can be slightly boring, it only last for a page or two though. I read through it in 3 nights, where most books only take me one evening.

The character building is out of this world in this novel. I found myself attached to each character and longed to learn more about each of them. Fitch is incredibly adept at making everyone you meet memorable.

The ending was a bit disappointing I must admit, as I felt it stopped short and seemed rushed.



All in all I would recommend this book!
reviewed White Oleander on + 22 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I devoured this book. It was not a happy book, but Astrid's spirit and strngth were inspiring. Very well-written.
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Helpful Score: 2
This is one of those books I pick up once a year and read through. I love getting lost into this odd artistic world. This strong woman and her daughter caught in her shadow. It speaks to me on so many levels of curiosity. I never tire of it.
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Helpful Score: 2
A peek into a world that is mostly unknown to the average person. An artisticly inclined women and her daughter of like quality, are ripped apart after her mother's fatal decision. A story filled with unimaginably sad twists and one youth's fight to survive.
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Helpful Score: 2
This is a fascinating book about a dysfunctional mother-daughter relationship. It's one of my favorites!
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Helpful Score: 2
It's an amazing book. Written so poetically and beautifully, it's one that will keep you reading until the very end! How she deals with all of the different homes, situations, and styles of life are completely amazing and how she develops into the person she is (Some in a bad way). I've never seen the movie, but this is one of the best books i've ever read!
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Helpful Score: 2
A deep, very disturbing, gripping read.
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Helpful Score: 2
one of Oprah's book club selects. A good read. Highly recomend it.
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Helpful Score: 1
Oprah's Book Club
Smooth, poetic language. The book was much better than the movie. Engaging, sympathetic characters.
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Helpful Score: 1
A book about a mother in jail and her daughter growing up in foster homes.
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Helpful Score: 1
This book was beautifully written. I thoroughly enjoyed it from beginning to end.
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Helpful Score: 1
One of my favorite books. I couldn't put this one down!
reviewed White Oleander on
Helpful Score: 1
Probably my favorite book and movie ever!
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Helpful Score: 1
I missed the movie and just now found time to read the book. Now I know why it stayed so long on the best seller list - it is painfully awesome. Do mothers like Ingrid really exist? Are the foster systems in the US really that terrible...the case workers that unfeeling? I pray no is the answer....
reviewed White Oleander on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was an "okay" book; not my favorite, but was still a good read. I just think it's unrealistic to think that the mom's story would be referenced in college classes and she would be "worshipped" by girls for what she did.
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Helpful Score: 1
This book still stays my favorite book for many reasons. Not only does Janet Fitch create a story that brings the reader on a journey through Astrid's eyes but she does it in such a way that makes the reader feel closely connected with Astrid. The language and wording of the book is rich and varying. Unlike any other book I've read. Vocabulary beyond anything I'd seen. This book actually made me reach for the dictionary once or twice. White Oleander is one book I will come back and reread over and over again simply because there is so much to get out of it.
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Helpful Score: 1
This book is a work of art. Each word is like dripping honey and I couldn't get enough. The best part, however, is the evolution of Astrid's feelings toward her jailed mother, and the changing nature of their relationship. Seeing through the eyes of abandoned, passed-around Astrid is all at once heart-breaking and transformative. Her skewed view of the world, as drilled into her by her destructive and poisonous mother, is slowly molded, changed, and this makes her a stronger woman, able to see many sides of a situation, and wade through flowery-poetic bullshit she is so used to interpreting. Fantastic read!
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Helpful Score: 1
One of the best books I've ever read!
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Helpful Score: 1
This book was incredible! I had stopped reading books for the past few years and just started back up. This was a great choice! I could not put it down. The author is incredibly detailed and descriptive. The vocabulary is also impressive at points. Definitely recommended!!
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Helpful Score: 1
This is a great book. I didn't see the movie, but heard it wasn't very good, but the book is captivating, believable and hard to put down. Don't miss this one. An Oprah book club selection.
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Helpful Score: 1
very gripping, yet disturbing novel about a girl's journey through foster care while her mother is in prison.
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Helpful Score: 1
Wonderful book. I learned so much about the foster care system.
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Helpful Score: 1
Once I began this book I was committed to finishing it without hesitating. It was an irresistible to put down at points wanting to finish, to find some peace hopefully at the end. Once I commit to something, I'm in it to win it...or at least get all the way to the finish line.
This girl's life was in a state of tremendous upheaval, and I was expecting a vastly different ending. Unfortunately, the ending left me a bit unsettled. Overall it was considerably detailed in all it's elements and a must read!
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Helpful Score: 1
I loved this book. When I heard there was going to be a movie I was so excited but the movie fell flat for me. It lacked so much. If you haven't read the book but have seen the movie, I highly recommend you giving the book a shot. You won't be disappointed!
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Helpful Score: 1
Having picked this up at a book sale and full well knowing even before I started reading it that it was an Oprah Book club book, I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised by this novel. Although sometimes overly dramatic, the overall plot is interesting enough to keep you reading and thinking about it even when you have to put the book down. If you would like to read something that is not necessarily the "average" fiction novel, you should try this one.
reviewed White Oleander on + 51 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Well written. Fitch does an impeccable job portraying the attitude of both the main character and her daughter as they journey through life. One in prison, one struggling to find herself while wandering through the social service system.

Recommended reading.
reviewed White Oleander on
Helpful Score: 1
I read this years ago and enjoyed it. It's not a happy story, but it's an intriguing one.
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Helpful Score: 1
One of my favorite books. Well written, with a poetic, lyrical style. Outshines both the movie, and Fitch's second book. Have read this at least twenty times...
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This book is about a young girl who is going through alot of stuff. Her mother is a very opinionated woman who, thinks everything should be her way. This story goes through the life of the young girl and tells how she bounces from home to home and trying to be accepted at them. If you like dark reads, this is for you. It is good, but a dark story.
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Pretty good read, but very sad and depressing at points.
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This book was beautifully written and made me feel that I was a silent witness to the events described.
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I don't read a lot of fiction, and to be honest this one caught my eye because I had seen the movie and found the story so unusual I wanted to know more. The book does not disappoint. The movie was of course less detailed, more emphasis on the worst parts, and with more attractive characters. The book was a good read. I liked it, didn't love it, but was glad I read it. I'm probably not the best judge of fiction works, because for every book I actually complete, there are at least 12 that I picked up to read and lost interest before getting very far. I finished this one because it was weird and different, a completely different set of characters than any I've ever met in my life. In real life, I have met people who were abandoned, neglected, or put in foster care when they were younger, and nearly every one turned out to be very grounded, decent and kind people despite the nasty way they were treated as children (I've never met any of their parents). I sort of knew the ending from the movie, it was good to see more detail in the book.
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A Book Club Choice. A great story!
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Beautiful and believable.
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great read!
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I saw the movie before reading this book. Both movie and book are haunting, engaging. The story of a young girl who struggles with the foster care system, a controlling, unbalanced mother in prison, and life.
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Strange but compelling story.
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I liked the book better than the movie-
Its a really gripping novel, and a good read.
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Oprah's Book Club. The unforgettable story of a brilliant poet imprisoned for murder and her daughter whose odyssey through a series of foster homes becomes a redeeming and surprising journey of self-discovery. A stunning debut novel.
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Well written and thought provoking.
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a well written tale of a girl, Aatrid- making her way into womanhood- through a series of failed foster parents and a mother that's as much conniving as alluring. it gives you crisp details into a wide spectrum of characters in many different situations- and the outcomes.
reviewed White Oleander on
An Oprah selection.

This is th eunforgettable story of Ingrid, a brilliant poet imprisoned for murder, and her daughter, Astrid, whose odyssey through a series of 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.
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I could not get through it
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This book is exquisitely written, and although not a "happy" book, the ending was hopeful. An unique telling of the "coming-of-age" story that will give you pause to examine your own life.
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emotional-a young girl's growth and journey
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This is a beautifully written, heartwrenching tale. The gripping and intellegent language sets it apart as we turn each page hoping for Astrid's release from Ingrid's poisonous love. Very unique!
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This book was hard to get through. I liked the movie better.
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The story of Ingrid, a brilliant poet imprisoned for murder, and her daughter, Astrid, who makes her own journey through a series of foster homes.

White oleander, a beautiful but poisonous plant, is a metaphor for motherhood in this first novel by Janet Fitch.
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Powerful; disturbing. Opened my eyes to what goes on in the foster care system. Am thanking God for my safe home.
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This is one of my favorite books. If you saw the movie, the book (as usual) is much better.
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This is a great book. If you've seen the movie and liked it, the book is even better!
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Fitch flawlessly captures the different stages of adolescence as Astrid, with the help of an array of uniquely influential women, winds her way toward self-discovery. She adapts to her new environments and learns from them, but the aspiring artist always manages to retain pieces of herself, no matter how difficult. "White Oleander" is one of those rare books that can truly be understood at any age. Your mother doesn't have to have been an ingenious sociopath for you to relate to the deep bond that Astrid still feels toward Ingrid, even after coming to terms with her selfishness, instability, and lack of compassion...Much better than the movie, but the book usually is.
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This was a very good book. It sure makes you appreciate your family.
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I love this book. This is my fave book. Janet Fitch is so awesome! I enjoy her work very much! Can't wait to read more! :)
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One of my absolute favorite books. A page turner with writing so lyrical it reads like a poem.
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Read by Oprah - awesome!
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It was an Oprah book club choice, and it received good reviews from plenty of people, so your mileage may vary from mine :-)

I wasn't a fan of this book....thought this book was depressing and overwritten--with high drama and not a break for the reader, with the calamities befalling the young protagonist. Not to say this isn't what life is like if your mother is a narcissistic psychotic of some kind.....

It does expose a very dysfunctional mother-daughter relationship and what amounts to serious abuse of a child; adult children of bipolar or otherwise mentally ill but functional parents might find some true chords here. It just didn't work for me at the time I read it.
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Good rainy day read.
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This was another choice for book club and one that I did not enjoy that much. I found this book to be really dark and depressing and it left me feeling emotionally drained. I felt even worse after I watched the movie. While it is well written, it was not a book that I will read again.
reviewed White Oleander on
Written with poetic justice!

Although this book started out with a bit of a yawn, taking me about the first two chapters before it gained interest, I am certainly delighted I did not put it down!!

I was captured. The story delves into areas your mind does not want to go, but it is taken. Like watching a wreck (you do not want to see it, but cannot look away). Janet Fitch grabs you in such an artistic, poetic way, that you are intrigued, disgusted, and with a peel-your-skin-back kind of way. Yet, you know there is too much of a reality mixed in this novel, as well.

This should be a suggested read to all mature readers!!
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Very good book read by Oprah Winfrey.
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The reader of this book is Oprah Winfrey. It is
one of Oprah's book club selections
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This book was intriguing to me.
The characters were all very interesting,making this book unpredictable, I never knew what was going to happen next.
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Incredible book about relationship between a mother and a daughter. Astrid was thrust into the foster care system after her mother goes to prison for murdering an ex-boyfriend. Her mother was a poet and lived an avante guard life style, keeping her daughter hauntingly thirsting for her mother during the years of living with an assortment of foster care families in L.A. Although she was in prison, she could still control her daughters life with her words. As Astrid grows through puberty into a young woman she becomes self reliant and independent. After her foster mother committs suicide because of something her mother said, Astrid turns from her mother and sees her as she really is, self serving and controlling. She becomes more self reliant and is able to break the spell of her mother over her.
A very provocative book, I didn't want it to end!
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Wonderful book. Well written heartbreaking but realistic story.
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This novel follows Astrid's journey through a series of foster homes while her mother is imprisoned. Each foster home is unique and disturbing in a different way. We experience the physical and emotional changes that Astrid endures. The language of Janet Fitch's writing is beautiful and intriguing. An incredible read, much better than the movie.
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The story of a girl's trials and turbulations in foster care.
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My daughter and I both really enjoyed this book. It was very intriguing and really kept us hooked and wanting to see how it all played out.
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The book is even better than the movie.
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I really liked this book! Astrid's foster home experiences were disturbing on so many levels. I couldn't help but be drawn into the story. I found her trials and tribulations believable, her character real. This book read more like a memoir than fiction. It was well-written, poetic. I highly recommend it! I will keep an eye out for more from this author for sure. Much was left out of the movie, understandably. All of the actors played their parts well, but Michelle Pfeiffer as Ingrid was a great choice!
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Oprah Book Club selection. A brilliant poet is imprisoned for her murder and her daughter winds through a maze of foster homes. Great characterization. Gripping.
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Loved it...beautifully written, characters fully developed coming to life as the narrative flows.
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The book was SO much better than the movie!
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An amazing novel. Not to be missed.
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A very well written novel. Definately one for the literary shelves.
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Oprah can't be wrong..from her book club!This Novel is haunting,engaging...avivid story complete with conniving characters and dramatic twist into a teenage girl's life throu fostercare as she becomes so bitter...
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An Oprah's Club book, made into a movie starring Michelle Pfeiffer.
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This is a very good book, it took me a while to get use to and like Janet Fitch's writing style, but I did get use to it and then found I really liked it... I loved the movie, which I also own, but if you have only seen the movie, you are missing out on a very lot of what happened to Astrid.. I was amazed at what all was left out! I can see how this may not be something everyone would like, but I sure did!

Oh, something weird, my book is made for book clubs, with notes in the back... I've never seen such a thing, wish I was in a book club and could discuse it!!HaHa!!!
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Much, much better than the movie.
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One of my favorite novels. Beautifully written coming-of-age story of Astrid, a young lady who must navigate the foster system when her powerful, acidic mother goes to prison for murdering a man.
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Thirteen-year-old Astrid Magnussen, the sensitive and heart-wrenching narrator of this impressive debut, is burdened with an impossible mother in Ingrid, a beautiful, gifted poet whose scattered life is governed by an enormous ego. When Ingrid goes to prison for murdering her ex-lover, Astrid enters the Los Angeles foster care program and is placed with a series of brilliantly characterized families. Astrid's first home is with Starr, a born-again former druggie, whose boyfriend, middle-aged Ray, encourages Astrid to paint (Astrid's absent father is an artist) and soon becomes her first lover, but who disappears when Starr's jealousy becomes violent. Astrid finds herself next at the mercy of a new, tyrannical foster mom, Marvel Turlock, who grows wrathful at the girl's envy of a sympathetic next-door prostitute's luxurious life. "Never hope to find people who will understand you," Ingrid archly advises as her daughter's Dickensian descent continues in the household of sadistic Amelia Ramos, where Astrid is reduced to pilfering food from garbage cans. Then she's off to the dream home of childless yuppies Claire and Ron Richards, who shower her with gifts, art lessons and the warmth she's been craving. But this new development piques Ingrid's jealousy, and Astrid, now 17 and a high school senior, falls into the clutches of the entrepreneurial Rena Grushenka. Amid Rena's flea-market wares, Astrid learns to fabricate junk art and blossoms as a sculptor. Meanwhile, Ingrid, poet-in-prison, becomes a feminist icon who now has a chance at freedomAif Astrid will agree to testify untruthfully at the trial. Astrid's difficult choice yields unexpected truths about her hidden past, and propels her already epic story forward, with genuinely surprising and wrenching twists. Fitch is a splendid stylist; her prose is graceful and witty; the dialogue, especially Astrid's distinctive utterances and loopy adages, has a seductive pull. This sensitive exploration of the mother-daughter terrain (sure to be compared to Mona Simpson's Anywhere but Here) offers a convincing look at what Adrienne Rich has called "this womanly splitting of self," in a poignant, virtuosic, utterly captivating narrative. Reading group guide; author tour.
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Ms. Fitch writes with hauntingly poetic prose that is a beauty in itself.
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good book.
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I really enjoyed this one!
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The book is always better than the movie.
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I loved this book
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One of my favorite books.
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This is a great book overall. I wish the main character could have stayed with the young foster parents. I keep wondering what the main character's mom said to the foster-mother that prompted her suicide. The last family the girl was with was practically a brothel in my opinion. I felt sorry for the foster child who went gave birth, and walked out of the hospital like nothing ever happened. Some sad realities.
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Much, much better than the movie.
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This was a page-turner
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Loved this story. One of those books, that makes me curious, where to these authors do their research? How do they come up with this stuff! Just an amazing gifted, talented author.
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I have a hard time reading Oprah's books. Not my kind of book.
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Excellent, unforgettable story!
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Although I really liked the movie, I didn't enjoy the book itself.
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This book will astonish you with every turn of the page.
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446 pages that I soaked up every word of in under 2 days. Outstanding! The movie was good, the book is GREAT!
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interesting read
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book that was made into a movie - also had a reading group guide inside
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I loved this book so much that I refused to see the movie for fear it would not do the book justice.
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I enjoyed the interaction between characters.
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This was a great story and I enjoyed the ending. It was a sad but good book and women will love it.
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great book! couldn't put it down!
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A great novel, intimate and powerful.
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The book was much better than the movie.
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EXCELLENT
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Excellent book!! I still haven't seen the movie yet but I always find the books are better anyways.
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Great book, I couldn't put it down!
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Great book! Very hard to put down.
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This was definitely intense! I had seen the movie years ago. I enjoyed the book and highly recommend it!
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really good story, very,very sad story
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Slighty difficult to follow but once you start you are hooked! A great read.
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This book's characters have stayed with me a long time. Good book!
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Great book!
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Loved the movie, ADORED the book!
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The imagery in this book is great and Fitch really allows the reader to get to know her characters.
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Incredible book, it's no wonder they made it into a movie! One of my favorites.
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I worked for years with kids in the "system" (foster kids and kids who'd committed juvenile crimes of varying degrees). This incredible novel rings true from start to finish. Beautifully written. Highly recommended.
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This is a great novel. It's beautifully written and tells a compelling story.
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An Oprah selection, very good and so is the movie.
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Very good story. I liked the descriptions of all of her foster families.
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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.
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Excellent read about different types of mothers in a girl's life.
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Excellent read! Some explicit parts so for the mature reader.
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Such a terribly sad story. I have to confess that I cry during Kleenex commercials, but being a mom, I always put my oldest daughter in the position of any child when I am reading or watching a movie. I understand what it means to be a little crazy and looking for love but I can't imagine putting my own happiness before that of my children. This book makes me want to become a foster parent. Too bad I can't adopt them all!
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I liked this book very much. Good movie also
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Great book, much better than the movie
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The first novel I truly savored instead of devouring. Her prose is more poetry than anything else.
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what a sad story but so captivatingly great!
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This is one of my favorite books. By the end, you feel like you know the main character, like you can finish her sentences.
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Can be depressing at times, but I'm sure it is a valid account of what it is like jumping from one foster home to another.
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I enjoyed this book alot- the mother was toxic and to read her daughter's struggles with that was amazing. The author gets it absolutely right.
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This national bellseller is one terrific storyj about strength, determination and self-discovery. One of the best books I have read.
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Great book that I sped through. Much better than the movie and the movie was good!
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I loved this book... couldn't stop reading! It is one that will keep you up all night!
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Quiet simply White Oleander is amazing. Its the kind of book you just cannot put down.Its alive,breathtaking, and fullblooded. this is a story of what it means to be extraordiary women
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Absolutely great. Writing and word usage are incredible. A book I will read again.
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Great read, I stayed up late every night because I couldn't put it down!
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loved it - how could you not.
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I am almost finished and I cannot put the book down
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Fantastic read!
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One of my favorites!! Heart wrenching.
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Interesting and somewhat disturbing book, but I enjoyed it.
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This is the best novel EVER!! Definately reccomended to anyone with the patience to finish a LONG story (totally worth it)
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Better than the movie, more detail of course.
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I never even finished it but I do that with a lot of popular books.Just not my thing but you can\'t always go by me.
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This book was a different kind of adventure.
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AUDIO BOOK ON TAPE
6 hours on 4 cassettes
Abridged

READ BY OPRAH WINFREY, who has a marvelous reading voice.

The original price of this book on tape was $24.98, and the proceeds were donated to charity.
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I loved this book.
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a typical Oprah read. I found the characters took themselves too seriously.
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Absolutely, 100% loved it!
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Great Story!
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interesting story...an Oprah Book Club book...later made into a movie -Mirah W.
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Really interesting book, the mother reminded me of my mom, in some ways.
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"This is what you're after when you're browsing the shelves for something good to read. White Oleander is a siren song of a novel, seducing the reader with its story, its language, and, perhaps most of all, with its utterly believable (and remarkably diverse!) characters. The narrator is particularly memorable-there were times she made me want to cheer and weep simultaneously. Finishing this book made me feel gratefully bereft, and I look forward to Janet Fitch's next work."
- Elizabeth Berg author of Durable Goods and Range of Motion
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Great book.
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I loved this book! But a friend of mine had seen the movie, and did not care for the story. I watched the movie and can understqand why. The movie was exerpts from the book, word for word, but left out the heart and soul of the book. The copy I have is pre-movie, and as such, does not have the movie picture on the front. Also, it is a little worn, but I would still classify it as "good". No rips, water-damage, or missing pages.
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Depressing as are most of Oprah's picks.
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Astrid is the only child of a single mother, Ingrid, a brilliant, obsessed poet who uses her beauty to intimidate and manipulate men. Astrid's world falls apart when her mother murders her lover and is sentenced to life in prison. This is the story of Astrid's journey through a series of foster homes and her efforts to find a place for herself in impossible circumstances.
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really great book
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I had seen the movie so it wasn't as interesting,but o.k.
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Astrid is the only child of a single mother, Ingrid. Ingrid is a brilliant poet who wields her luminous beauty to intimidate and manipulate men. Astrid worships her mother and cherishes their private world full of ritual and mystery. Iverything is shattered when Astrid's mother falls apart over a lover. Ingrid murders the man and is sentenced to life in prison.
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Great read!
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Astrid is the only child of a single mother, Ingrid, a brilliant, obssessed poet who wields her luminous beauty to intimidate and manipulate men. Astrid worships her mother and cherishes their private world full of ritual and mystery----but their idyll is shattered when Astrids mother falls apart over a lover. Deranged by rejection, Ingrid murders the man, and is sentenced to life in prison.
White Oleoander is the unforgettable stroy of Astrid's journey through a series of foster homes and her efforts to find a place for herself in impossible circumstances. With determination and humor, Astrid confronts the challenges of loneliness and poverty, and strives to learn who a motherless child in an indifferent world can become.

Read by Oprah Winfrey
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Oprah Book Club