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Publisher's Summary

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. Oprah Winfrey enjoyed this gripping first novel so much that she not only made it her book club pick, she asked if she could narrate the audio release.
©1999 by Janet Fitch; (P) and ©1999 Time Warner AudioBooks (Packaging Elements Only), A Division of Time Warner Trade Publishing

Critic Reviews

  • An Oprah Book Club selection

"...[an] impressive first novel.... her startlingly apt language relates a story that is both intelligent and gripping." (The New York Times Book Review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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    70
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Performance

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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    70
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Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Tracy
  • Oakland, CA, USA
  • 04-09-04

White Oleander

I was caught up in the rhythm and language of this book from the first paragraph...In its original form. Too much is lost in the edited version. Oprah has a very rich voice, but I think the maturity and depth is wrong for this book. I hope Audible will post a different version when/if one is available.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Like the wings of a dark bird on a September night

This book has more adjectives then a democratic convention. Fluff that takes it's time getting to the point. I found the story interesting but was VERY disappointed that 1) it is the abridged version 2) it isn't true. (my fault for not checking) Top that off with Oprah's reading. I've nothing against Oprah but there is a time and a place for everything. It's hard to get the feeling that a teenaged blond white girl is telling the story who has a voice and accent like Oprah's. Everyone in the story had a "unique" accent that didn't fit (or even come close to) the background they were supposed to be from. This is just a bad match.

24 of 28 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

not the real version

I bought the paper back book and read about a 1/4 of it- today I had to make a very long drive so I decided to download the audiobook and finish it that way. well this was not the same as the novel I bought. this is edited and numerous chapters and characters left out. I think it may be the screenplay version not the real, good, version. I wish that would have been included in the information section because then I wouldn't have wasted my money. I listened to it anyway because I didn't have anything else prepared. very disappointing. I would suggest to everyone to buy the book rather than listen to this dulled down version

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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  • Erin
  • Fort McMurray, AB, Canada
  • 03-06-12

Great book, dissappointed about it being Abriged.

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

The book, yes, this version, no. I felt there was a lot that was missed by having it abriged.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jari
  • Brigham City, UT, USA
  • 05-31-10

Glad I read it.

I had seen the movie several years ago and decided to read the book. Excellent story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

I stayed up late just to see what happened next...

This was my first listen at Audible, and I loved it! True enough, I do wish it was unabridged, it did leave out a bit, but I loved the drama, and even the garden language, I definately enjoyed! I stayed up after my late three hour drive just to hear more...I would rate a must listen!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Bad version

I wanted to read this book for a summer assignment but I didn't really have the time so I bought the Audible and listened tot he whole thing only to find out that a lot of chapters and characters were not introduced. Terrible version but Oprah has a real nice narration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

review

It was interesting book . I love listening to Oprah's way of reading it. I would recommend it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

I love this book

I love white oleander, probably one of my favorites of all time. I recommend a better movie made on it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

NOT THE WHOLE BOOK!!!

This version is complete bullshit!!! They've left out TWO homes and a first time to MAC BEFORE she meets Paul Trout!!!!! WTF is this shit!!!! BUY THE BOOK!!!! The ONLY good thing about this is Oprah's voice throughout! She does a fabulous job reading!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful