Astrid is the only child of a single mother, Ingrid, a brilliant, obsessed 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 Astrid's mother falls apart over a lover.
Deranged by rejection, Ingrid murders the man, and is sentenced to life in prison. White Oleander is the unforgettable story of Astrid's journey through a series of foster homes and her efforts to find a place for herself in impossible circumstances. Each home is its own universe, with a new set of laws and lessons to be learned. 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. Tough, irrepressible, funny, and warm, Astrid is one of the most indelible characters in recent fiction. White Oleander is an unforgettable story of mothers and daughters, burgeoning sexuality, the redemptive powers of art, and the unstoppable force of the emergent self. Written with exquisite beauty and grace, this is a compelling debut by an author poised to join the ranks of today's most gifted novelists.
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©2000 Janet Fitch; (P)2009 Hachette
"...[an] impressive first novel.... her startlingly apt language relates a story that is both intelligent and gripping." (The New York Times Book Review)
I absolutely love The White Oleander. Janet Fitch writes with beautiful synchronicity about Astrid's lonely journey through the LA foster care system. The first time I read this book was my senior year of high school. I'd been wanting to reread it, but couldn't find the time, so I purchased it with my Audible account. I was disappointed to find that Audible didn't have the Unabridged version. I feel like it took a lot out of the book and was very disappointed to find that the only parts they left in were they ones they put in the movie. This is an amazing book that I would recommend to anyone, but DO NOT get it on audiobook if you want to experience how amazing it is in its entirety.
I'm going to try to return this, but this was a bad version of the book. I love the book and reread it every year. Oprah made the characters sound dumb and had these contrived fake accents, I could have dealt with it if it was honest to the story, but it skipped two homes at least before I quit listening. That's fine for a movie, but why skip pieces of an audio book?
I understand that this is an abridged version of the book but it is ridiculous how much was cut out. Why? I love the original and have read it numerous times. I was heartbroken upon listening to this version. So much of the story is lost. You should really make the unabridged version available. I feel cheated out of my money. I would have NEVER spent my money on this audiobook if I knew how hacked up it is.
The abridgment destroys the story and beauty of the novel. On top of that, Oprah decides to give one of the Latina characters an Asian sounding accent instead despite the characters use of Spanish slang. A quick search on Google would have revealed this. Overall, the reading was so poorly executed that I resorted to reading the hard copy of the book instead. So glad I did!
After listening I was wanting more there didn't seem to be a climax to the story and I wasn't truly connected to the main characters, I wasn't sure why. The writing was vivid and so was the story. A few days later I told a girlfriend about what I thought. She Googled it and started reading Wikipedia summery of the book. I was so disappointed to how much this abridged version had left out! It made me angry that they left so much out but it also made me want to buy the book and reread it!
I love true history books. Many about people and their lives. Also memoirs are great
I loved reading this book. But I did not love listening to Oprah over dramatize every syllable. I just can't put Oprah's face into the main character of this book. Not matter how I try, it doesn't fit. I also wish the unabridged version was available.
Please no more recognizable celebrity narrators!! It screws with my head and makes it impossible to enjoy the book.
I love listening to this book. I loved reading a book from the perspective of a young girl and as she grows through her teenage years into an adult. Mother daughter relationship complicated and really lovely perspective. Great writer
I enjoyed the imagery and the story. This was the first book I have heard with Oprah narrating, and I would listen to other books she has done as well.
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