Saturday, March 28, 2020

REVIEW: White Oleander by Janet Fitch


I don't know how to start writing about this book right now so let me start with some random rambling thoughts.

It's heartbreaking.
It gets inside of you.
The fog of melancholy swirls and settles around you as you read it.
It's beautifully written, lyrical.
It's haunting.
It felt like looking in a mirror at times.

I had to put it down and walk away only to pick it right back up again.

These characters are so real to me.
They're in me.
They're me.

The abandonment.

The mothers. FUCK ME...the mothers. As a mother, this novel terrified me. It made me realize how powerful a mother is.

And the men? Almost a constant source of disappointment.

Thank you Elliot Wake, Jaime, Allen, and Jennifer for being a part of this with me. And Court, always you for supporting my off calendar reads.

ETA: I read this many years ago and forgot to post my review. Enjoy.


SYNOPSIS: The unforgettable story of a young woman's odyssey through a series of Los Angeles foster homes on her journey to redemption.
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.

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