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 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 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.
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!
This production is lovingly read by Orpah. I really enjoyed the presentation.
I didn't want to turn this book off. It was just so beautifully written.
The novel is a very interesting read through the life of a teenage girl as she goes from foster home to foster home. While trying to stay clear of danger and do her on thing, her self destructive tendencies cause problems every know and then. Add in a controlling, manipulative mother pulling invisible strings on her and those around her from prison and you have a very interesting narrative.
What I liked the least was the parts cut out from the book: This was a reread and I was looking forward to those parts. But they aren't strictly required.
She was fine. Celebrity voices aren't normally as good as professional voice actors, but she did a very passable job.
I wish they had the unabridged version.
This was a great book and it was beautifully read by Oprah. I remember seeing her talk about the book when it was an Oprah's Book Club selection. She said she'd immediately contacted the author to ask if she could read it. She's great. The writing is great too, of course, but Ophrah does such a fabulous job reading that I've suggested to friends that they listen rather than read it. Lots of nice turns in the story.
I feel like Oprah didn't really sell it as a narrator. Maybe if somebody with a younger vocie narrated, it might be better.
Her time with Clair is very beautiful.
It's very sad. I read in one of the reviews that somebody actually gave this book only one star because it was sad. What an idiot! So, if you're reading this, and you're the Stewart Smalley, then I am sure there are better choices for you... but anyone out there who doesn't mind a story of the harsh reality of the foster care system, then this is a must read.
People who give bad ratings to books because of their own personal preferences are morons.
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