White Oleander: A Novel

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White Oleander: A Novel

by Janet Fitch

Little, Brown And Company | May 1, 2000 | Trade Paperback

White Oleander: A Novel is rated 4.5714 out of 5 by 49.
Everywhere hailed as a novel of rare beauty and power, White Oleander tells the unforgettable story of Ingrid, a brilliant poet imprisoned for murder, and her daughter, Astrid, whose odyssey through a series of Los Angeles 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.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 480 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.32 in

Published: May 1, 2000

Publisher: Little, Brown And Company

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0316284955

ISBN - 13: 9780316284950

Found in: Fiction and Literature
Appropriate for ages: 13 - 13

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Deliciously poignant prose! I finished this novel today and I am absolutely at awe at Fitch's writing. Her technique is flawless, the detail is perfect - never over the top. She spun a tale that we all know too well - life. Although all the characters in the novel are extremes, the represent a little bit of all of us. Simply wonderful. I highly recommend it. Disturbing at times - but so is life, right?
Date published: 2012-04-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from White Oleander this book was pretty good. Some times i felt like it dragged on to much, and other times I was so engrossed with it. It was beautiful, and scary at the same time. I am so proud of the young girl in this book. and almost disgusted by her mother. But non the less, this book is worthwhile to read!! :)
Date published: 2010-12-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful This book definitely lived up to the expectations given by the movie. There are a couple more temporary homes visited by Astrid, and I think that it makes for a richer story, but would probably have been too much for the movie. I greatly enjoyed this book. A L0T of interesting characters in this book that could be looked at from many different angles. If you're looking for a book that reads like a poem (and it has some poetry in it) in it's beauty and detail, this is a book for you.
Date published: 2010-03-17
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Wouldn't Ever Read Again... I am usually able to write pretty long reviews, but for this one I don't feel that I really can. The book was slow and took me nearly an entire month to read when I usually finish books in a day or so. I read it a few years back and regret doing so. Although many people love the book (the reason why I read it in the first place), I didn't find it interesting or leaving me guessing. It was predictable and slow.
Date published: 2009-07-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Fairly Interesting. This was a pretty decent book. It started off a little dull, but gradually got better and better the further into it you got. There weren't too many twists, and the ending was fairly predictable, but it was still an interesting story.
Date published: 2009-06-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from White Oleander Before I read this book, I saw the movie, and immediately fell in love with the story. I couldn’t wait to crack the book open and dive into the world of Astrid and Ingrid. At first I was really enjoying the book: the characters were interesting, the story was darkly entertaining and it was written beautifully. However, in the last hundred pages or so, I found Astrid’s story to become dull and repetitive. There are only so many times one can read about the tensions between mother and daughter. But it is a book I’m glad to have read. I can guarantee that anyone who picks up this book will become attached to at least one of the characters: Ray, Astrid, Claire, Olivia or even Ingrid. The story is poetic and memorable, and worth a spot on your book shelves.
Date published: 2009-03-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Stunning Tale of Affliction Janet Fitch's White Oleander is a beautiful story of tragedy, loss, hatred, and love. Astrid, the protagonist, is sent to a series of foster homes after her mother ends up in prison. The struggles that are faced and overcome in this novel are inspiring, but horrific at the same time. While reading this book, I could sympathize with Astrid and the people she met along the way. The characters were diverse, but each one had something memorable and even likeable about them. Fitch has a way of creating conflicting feelings in the reader towards the characters which makes the story impossible to resist. Throughout White Oleander, Astrid changed, like a chameleon, to fit into her surroundings in order to survive. I thought her transformation from youthful innocence into hardened, bitter, cynical adulthood was portrayed perfectly. This led me to wonder how much of this story came from the author’s personal experiences. There was something so authentic about it all. The descriptions of Astrid’s environment and thoughts repeatedly left me feeling grim and distressed because of their dismal, oppressive nature. The strength of Fitch’s writing is definitely in her ability to convey emotion to and create emotion in the reader. I loved this book and would, without a doubt, recommend it to everyone. It was well written and constantly made me lose track of time because I was so absorbed in it. White Oleander is an amazing story of survival, the ability to adapt, and endurance.
Date published: 2009-02-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from White Oldeander I just finished this amazing book called White Oldeander by Janet Fitch. This book is very real and the author captures life easily through her words. This is a page turner and hard to put down at the best of times. This books paints a picture of real life with being an orphan and what a child can go through when in the system. Heart breaking at the best of times, but shows one how to push through all the crap to keep going to get ahead or get to what you want and need in the end. This author was very detailed in all of her writing throughout the book, which helped to bring the book to life for the reader. I can easliy see how this was a #1 National Bestseller. This is a steller book that I would easily recommend to anyone. Please do take a moment to live in someone elses shoes even for a moment, as you will not be disappointed to live through the life of Astrid and her trial and tribulations throughout the book. It truly is a book of self discovery and soul searching, and keeps the reader guessing and wanting more up until the last word. Great novel!!!
Date published: 2008-09-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from White Oleander This is truly the most amazing book i've read. It's a poetic work, and each word is something you savor. If you haven't read this book yet, please add it to your list. An amazing novel.
Date published: 2008-08-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A Warped Coming of Age Story... I really enjoyed White Oleander. I've passed by it on the shelves many times without picking it up but on a reccomendation I decided to pick it up. The story itself certainly has been done before, but this time in more of a unique way, it has a great mix of poetry and prose, and some certainly interesting character development. I will reccomend this to others in the future.
Date published: 2008-07-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful This book is one of my favourites and was long before Oprah decided to make it known to the public. I love the book, but I wish Oprah would stop recommending things to people. They need to stop following her like sheep.
Date published: 2008-03-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Better then the movie! I had watched the movie before reading this book and i must say I enjoyed the book far more! Like usual stuffy had been cut out of the movie, but the book is amazing! a must read!
Date published: 2008-01-18
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Review This book is not bad, but certainly not excellent. The descriptions are too long (and eventually become quite boring), and the story itself is quite cliche.
Date published: 2007-12-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautifully Descriptive I read this book about two months ago but it still stays fresh in my memory! I found Janet Fitch does an amazing job at describing every details to as if you are in the room with the characters and as if you are feeling the same pain and joy as the characters. I liked all of the situations the main character was put it, generally I could not put this book down and now I'm craving any book written by Janet Fitch.
Date published: 2007-08-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Well Done 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. This is a really sad book, really well thought out and creative.
Date published: 2006-08-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good Book I had higher expectations for this book but i still thought that it was a good read. I especially enjoyed the first half of the book but after that it seemed to just drag on. It could've been 100 pages shorter and still have been good.
Date published: 2006-06-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WOW This is my all-time favourite book. I get lost in it everytime i read it, it sucks me in. A classic example of the book being better than the movie.
Date published: 2006-06-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from best book ever written For anyone that is worried because they have seen the movie- let me tell you that it doesnt even amount. The book is so amazingly written and the feeling that the characters give you are undeniable. This is by far one of the best books i have ever read!
Date published: 2006-06-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Forget the movie - read the book! This was a beautiful dark novel with the most amazing imagery. You'll read it over and over.
Date published: 2006-06-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent This is by far the best book I have ever read and now I keep trying to find another book that even compares. I have not found one even though I have found many great books. It reads like poetry and it flows from one word to the next beautifully. I recommend this book to anyone and most of my friends and family now have a copy. It has vivid imagery that lets you see with clarity all that the author wants you to see and feel and touch. Bravo!
Date published: 2006-01-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent! What an amazing read that I am sure will always stay with me.
Date published: 2006-01-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must read book! This book was so amazing you wouldn't believe it until you read it trust me... Janet is one of the best author! She makes you feel the emotion the characters are going through. It's a page turning story you never want to put the book down even when your exausted!! Yours Truly Janet!!
Date published: 2005-10-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautifully written White Oleander is the best book I have ever read. The way it is written is absolutely beautiful and the story of Astrid's journey is heartbreaking and inspiring. Astrid's strength and resilience gave me hope in difficult times of my life.
Date published: 2005-10-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Read the Book first!! This is one of the best books I've read. The Movie leaves out so much of the important details of the book. This is truly a very good book and very hard to put down.
Date published: 2005-06-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simply Amazing White Oleander was amazing. It was the best book I'd ever read. After seeing the movie, I had to read the book, and although the movie is great, it just doesn't do the book justice. Janet Fitch is an amazing author and I look foward to reading more of her work.
Date published: 2005-03-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautifully Written Although I had heard that this book was hard to get through, after I'd seen the movie I had to read the book. It may just be my pure fascination with Astrid but I read this book in three days. The novel has poetry running through its veins. The book goes in to much more detail than the movie, but not enough that you feel you're going to die of boredom. The story and the way Janet wrote it is amazing. By far one of the best books I've ever read.
Date published: 2004-11-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simply Amazing! I look forward to reading more of Janet Fitch's work. I can't even describe how I felt reading it, simply amazing. Her style of writing is absolutely incredible...inspiring. It is so well written, that I could feel Astrid's pain, anger, hapiness. A masterpiece! Definitely a must read!
Date published: 2003-08-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderfully worded This is an amazing book, written by an amazing author. You can see the time, and research, and feeling that went into every word in this book. It takes you through a whirl wind of young Astrid's foster homes, her experiances good and bad, her mothers letters and poetry. It dosn't hold anything back, but portrayed the information necsesary for the reader to feel fully involved in the character. Everything was wonderfully worded, and the vocabulary was broad and descriptive. The movie dosn't do this book ANY justice. If you want to rent the movie, read the book first! A great read for teens and up.
Date published: 2003-08-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely rich A book full of beautiful metaphors that make you want to keep picking up your highlighter [which i did!]. Insightful, deeply layered, absorbing. A enjoyable read and brutally honest book. Highly recommended to every female.
Date published: 2003-07-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The BEST book ever written! Unbelievable! I would have never read this book had it not been for a book club I joined. I had already seen the movie and liked it but didn't think the book could be any better. Boy, was I wrong! I could not have been more enthralled by this woman's words. Janet is a beautiful writer and her poetry comes out in her words. This is the best book I've ever read. I could not put it down and FYI, it is WAY better than the movie. :)
Date published: 2003-06-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Captivating Read! I thoroughly enjoyed this novel - the character development was excellent. It is a story that totally absorbs the reader with its narrative and characters. As the story develops, new people enter the scene, each as compelling as the last. You won't be dissapointed.
Date published: 2003-06-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazing I loved the book. It brought me closer to the kind of world we live in. The whole book is AMAZING!I totally loved the book and also Janet Finch is such an amazing author for ages teen -adult- senior.
Date published: 2002-11-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from You think your life's tough? I got this book out of the library at my school for an english assignment. When I was about halfway through it, I went out and bought it. It is an amazing book that every teenage girl should read as well as anyone over that. The story of Astrid is heart felt. She really develops as a character and these changes are noticiable. Janet Fitch is an amzing author! I want to see the movie now.
Date published: 2002-11-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from an addictive read In reading Ms. Fitch's book, the character of Astrid was so vivid, that I truly related to her anguish of being controlled by her mother, and her emancipation. The author really makes the world of the book, and its characters 3D, it is very easy to visualize the different homes and the mothers of these homes that Astrid endures. It is an addictive read that is impossible, and I would definitely recommend it.
Date published: 2002-10-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down! I was totally captivated by this wonderful story. I couldn't stop reading and always wanted to find out what was going to happen next. I definitely recommend it to everyone!
Date published: 2002-09-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from White Oleander This is probably the best book I've read in ages. So powerful and so sad. I truly couldn't put it down, and when I had to, my mind was always thinking about when I could pick it up again! Read this book!!!!
Date published: 2002-07-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful A beautiful novel, with strong, vivid characters. A story about a young girl whose youth is stripped away from her at the hands of her mother. A realistic view of the hardships of growing up too fast. It is tale of survival. Astrid is a true survivor. I found it very difficult to put down. When I did manage to get it out of my hands, it was always close by.
Date published: 2001-03-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Stunning Book This book is one of the most amazing pieces of literature I have ever read in my life. It was a book that I just picked up because I felt like reading one day, but as I started reading more into it, I was astounded at how much it seaped into my heart and made me feel the characters so intensly. I couldn't put the book down and am now reading it for a second time. Janet Fitch is a brilliant woman who obviously knows life's struggles and gets right to the heart of them. Both Astrid and Ingrid show such characteristics that we all possess that you really can't help but to compare yourself to them and get really into this book. I recommend this to anyone who has a deep mind that can perceive this book the way it should be.
Date published: 2001-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Eye-Opening I just finished this book and am stunned by how beautiful it was. The characters are so rich and believable, making it impossible to put down for even a second. I highly recommend this novel!
Date published: 2001-01-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Hey, Don't I Know You? Astrid, the daughter and Ingrid her frighteningly self centered, narcissistic mother are two characters you think you must know. Is that because Janet Fitch has written such an unrequitedly REAL book, are could these two be symbols for modern child-raising? The heartbreak Astrid endures at the hands of a horror show cast of foster parents, hardens her. But there is something in Astrid that keeps the dream alive, that still yearns for and wants a relationship with her mother, the woman without a heart, or a conscience. The woman who is in jail for murdering her boyfriend. Why does Astrid hold out? What’s the attraction? That conundrum is surely key to the novel.
Date published: 2000-10-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So real!!! This story is about a young girl that whats nonthing more than for her mother to love her uconditionally!! Every time that life was looking up for this girl it would come crash down again!! This book also explores fosterhomes and the life of a foster children.. I have been raised as a foster child so I could relate to many of the characters emotions.. I could not put this book down!! Every page brought a new challege for the young girl to over come!!
Date published: 2000-09-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautifully Written White Oleander was, most definitely, one of the most beautifully written books I have ever read. From the time I opened the front cover, to the time I finished the last page, the book was hardly out of my hands. I would eagerly reccommend this book to anyone, as most could relate to the troubles Astrid experiences through her life.
Date published: 2000-09-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Definate Buy This passionate, poetic, page turner was one of the best books I ever read. I borrowed it from a friend and loved it so much I went out to get myself a copy afterwards.
Date published: 2000-08-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Read... Being in school all year, this was the first book I picked up for pleasure reading ... and what a pleasure it was!! It's an amazing story about a young girl who goes through unbelievable experiences at such a young age. Parts of Astrid's life can make your jaw drop, the tears roll, or make you laugh out loud. A real page turner! I couldn't put it down...
Date published: 2000-07-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Wonderful! This was an amazing book. I could not put it down. Excellent characters! It was one of those books that when it was over you were sad because you missed reading it.
Date published: 2000-07-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Journey For Your Soul This awe inspiring tale of a young girl's struggles, triumphs, and journey into womanhood is sure to capture your mind and soul!! The characters come alive right off the pages and are sure to draw you right into this great adventure of life. Astrid's story will sit on your brain long after you've finished the book. A must read!
Date published: 2000-07-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What a Catch! A friend recommended this book to me, and now I recommend it to you. Read this book--it is a compelling story about a girl's life, her pain and happiness while dealing with a life jumping from foster home to foster home, and her search for herself. It is beautifully written and the characters are almost real by the time you finish reading. Read it!
Date published: 2000-07-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from White Oleander Beautifully written with poetic lyricism, it was a pleasure to bury myself in Janet Fitch's creation! White Oleander is a truely inspiring, and tragic story of love, life and survival.
Date published: 2000-06-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wonderful Read I couldn't put down this book. The characters were so alive, and Astrid's stuggles to find herself were so realistic it was like I was experiencing it myself. I highly recommend this book to anyone, especially those who need a reminder to appreciate what is really good in their life!!
Date published: 2000-05-21

– More About This Product –

White Oleander: A Novel

by Janet Fitch

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 480 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.32 in

Published: May 1, 2000

Publisher: Little, Brown And Company

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0316284955

ISBN - 13: 9780316284950

From the Publisher

Everywhere hailed as a novel of rare beauty and power, White Oleander tells the unforgettable story of Ingrid, a brilliant poet imprisoned for murder, and her daughter, Astrid, whose odyssey through a series of Los Angeles 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.

About the Author

Janet Fitch''s first novel,White Oleander, a #1 bestseller and a selection of Oprah''s Book Club, has been translated into 24 languages and was made into a feature film. A native of Los Angeles, Fitch currently teaches fiction writing in the Master of Professional Writing Program at the University of Southern California.

From Our Editors

When Oprah picked White Oleander for her book club, it was well on its way to becoming a word-of-mouth bestseller. Afterward, it became an overnight sensation, and a number-one national bestseller. A powerful story following the lives of a mother and her daughter, this book is a triumph in every sense of the word – Ingrid and Astrid will haunt you long after you've turned the last page.

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 13

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