White Oleander

White Oleander

A Novel

Book - 2000
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"White Oleander" is the stunning debut novel by Janet Fitchabout a teenage girl's search for her identity. With her headstrong mother serving a life sentence in prison, Astrid Magnussen must learn to survive on her own, and this story brilliantly traces her journey from the streets through a series of foster homes and ultimately to a greater understanding of life.
Publisher: Boston : Little, Brown, 2000, c1999.
Edition: First Back Bay trade paperback edition
ISBN: 9780316284950
Characteristics: 446 pages ;,21 cm.


From the critics

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Dec 09, 2018

I like this book very much. I'm still reading it. I have to keep reminding myself it is not a memoir or autobiography. Very well done.

Dec 06, 2018

Great read! As I was reading, I thought readers who enjoyed The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt would also enjoy this book.

Aug 04, 2018

This book was an absolute page turner. I read this entire book in one session. The book follows through Astrid's experience in foster care after her mother commits murder. As a former foster care youth, there were many situations that were captured perfectly by Janet Fitch.

JCLCherylMY May 05, 2018

Having re-read this book recently, I found it as good as the first time (1999). Even though I remembered much of Astrid and Ingrid's difficult story, I found myself drawn in because the book is beautifully written -- the language and phrasing is haunting and evocative.

SPPL_Violet Mar 17, 2018

The writing, at times, comes off as prose poetry. It's beautiful and lyrical yet poisonous, just like the titular white oleander. The plot is rough- it follows Astrid growing in foster care as her mother is in prison for murder. There are dark sexual situations, abuse, violence, and drug use. Themes of forgiveness, familial bond, mother-daughter relationships, love, and loneliness as the human condition.

CRRL_MegRaymond Mar 06, 2018

Astrid must grow up quickly in foster care after her mother is imprisoned for murder.

Jan 08, 2018

Wow. I enjoyed reading this book and it tugged at my heart strings. The ending was not my favorite but overall a great read.

Dec 06, 2017

Impressive debut!! Janet Fitch's White Oleander,

White Oleander is the story of a young girl, Astrid Magnussen, who in the beginning of the book lives in Los Angeles. Although Astrid has a mother who is as sharp as a new knife -Ingrid Magnussen, an uncompromising poet, Ingrid despises weakness and self-pity, telling her daughter that they are descendants of Vikings.

Its a book about that saying: What doesn't kill you makes you stronger

WVMLStaffPicks Dec 06, 2014

The ever fascinating theme of the mother daughter-relationship is brilliantly explored in this saga of a young woman forced to experience a series of foster homes while her own eccentric mother serves a jail term. Despite their separation, the daughter continues to be influenced by her mother’s strong will.

Mar 06, 2014

Hmmm... This book wasn't exactly my cup of tea, there were certain parts I loved, liked, disliked and strongly hated..

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Aug 04, 2018

Ravenallberry thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

SPPL_Violet Mar 17, 2018

SPPL_Violet thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jun 03, 2015

Terracotta16 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jun 26, 2013

georginamarie thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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