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White Oleander: A Novel
by Janet Fitch

Published: 2001-09-01
Mass Market Paperback : 496 pages
17 members reading this now
10 clubs reading this now
20 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 1 of 2 members
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 Astrids mother falls apart over ...
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Introduction

(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 Astrids 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 Astrids 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 humour, Astrid confronts the challenges of loneliness and poverty, and strives to learn who a motherless child in an indifferent world can be. 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 todays most gifted novelists. Praise for White Oleander: Fitchs book is a lovely piece of work. Her prose is ornate and her characters are vividly human a delicious debut. The Globe and Mail Fitch has spun a startling, compelling novel that deserves a wide audience. The Vancouver Sun It is rare to encounter a book so beautifully written or a tale so painful yet exquisitely told. The Edmonton Journal rich with imagery.... The National Post

Editorial Review

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Excerpt

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Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

Similarities and differences between Astrid and Ingrid
What did Astrid learn from each of her foster famlies?
by FTessa (see profile) 11/02/10

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

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Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "Didn't Live Up"by AdinaP (see profile) 11/10/10

We'd heard a lot about this book. One of our members even read it before, but she was the only one who liked it. The story and characters never grabbed us. The writing just wasn't that compelling.

 
  "White Oleander by Janet Fitch"by FTessa (see profile) 11/02/10

Astrid narrates this tale of her journey through a series of foster homes in the six years following her mother’s imprisonment for murdering an ex-lover.
Ingrid Magnussen is the quintess
... (read more)

 
  "Makes you appreciate your life"by eatlizzardsdaily (see profile) 01/13/09

I read this book before I joined the Book Club, so I'm not sure how it would go for discussion. It definitely made me appreciate my life and my childhood so much. I look at the Foster care system in a... (read more)

 
  "Good One for Discussion"by BHastings (see profile) 11/23/08

We enjoyed the writing and the story. Interesting discussion about family, loyalty and mother-daughter relationships.

 
  "great writing and a moving story"by KLeaper (see profile) 01/27/08

 
  "One of my favorite books. Tons to discuss with so many interesting characters"by JennyHud (see profile) 01/27/08

 
  "Six different foster homes shape the life of a young girl."by kathaileen (see profile) 12/09/07

I started reading this book and couldn’t put it down (I didn’t get dressed until noon and I finally turned the light off at 2:00a.m. but only because I felt guilty not because I was fall... (read more)

 
  "One of my favorites books of all time."by ssarnataro (see profile) 12/04/07

This story is engaging and Janet Fitch's prose draws you into every single page. I read this for the first time 6 years ago and I still love this book.

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