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White Oleander

White Oleander Oprah Book Club Selection May Astrid Magnussen the teenage narrator of Janet Fitch s engrossing first novel White Oleander has a mother who is as sharp as a new knife An uncompromising poet

  • Title: White Oleander
  • Author: Janet Fitch Oprah Winfrey
  • ISBN: 9781594835704
  • Page: 460
  • Format: Audio CD
  • Oprah Book Club Selection, May 1999 Astrid Magnussen, the teenage narrator of Janet Fitch s engrossing first novel, White Oleander, has a mother who is as sharp as a new knife 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 boyfrienOprah Book Club Selection, May 1999 Astrid Magnussen, the teenage narrator of Janet Fitch s engrossing first novel, White Oleander, has a mother who is as sharp as a new knife 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 As Astrid bumps from trailer park to tract house to Hollywood bungalow, White Oleander uncoils her existential anxieties Who was I, really she asks I was the sole occupant of my mother s totalitarian state, my own personal history rewritten to fit the story she was telling that day There were so many missing pieces Fitch adroitly leads Astrid down a path of sorting out her past and identity In the process, this girl develops a wire tight inner strength, gains her mother s white blonde beauty, and achieves some measure of control over their relationship Even from prison, Ingrid tries to mold her daughter Foiling her, Astrid learns about tenderness from one foster mother and how to stand up for herself from another Like the weather in Los Angeles the winds of the Santa Anas, the scorching heat Astrid s teenage life is intense Fitch s novel deftly displays that, and also makes Astrid s life meaningful Katherine AndersonExcellent delivery of this book, read with feeling by Oprah Winfrey.

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      Posted by:Janet Fitch Oprah Winfrey
      Published :2018-06-13T23:12:13+00:00

    1 thought on “White Oleander

    1. If nothing else, read this book for the language. White Oleander reads like a poem. It's so beautifully crafted.

    2. Well, what was I supposed to rate it? I did work awfully hard on W.O. still like it. Sad to think Oprah's book club is all over, it was quite an experience.

    3. Dark, depressing, disturbing, and so beautiful! When the author described the August summer heat I felt it, like hot breath on my neck. I fell in love with Ingrid and her beauty and ideas of the world. Then I became Astrid, and I felt how much she loved her and how bad it hurt to also hate her, but hate Ingrid I did! I would walk away from long reading sessions feeling hardened and detached. It's not an easy read, but I find literature that can make me feel so strongly well deserving of praise. [...]

    4. This is Astrid’s story.We meet her first when she is twelve and in Ingrid’s (her mother) care.Ingrid is a woman of such rare, unearthly beauty as to be most likely found in dreams.Fitch describes her through Astrid’s eyes, gradually, poetically, using very sparse language, as the story unfolds, with words that sing, the pages glistening with the image reflected from her eyes.The Santa Anas blew in hot from the desert, shrivelling the last of the spring grass into whiskers of pale straw. On [...]

    5. I have many thoughts that I'm having trouble putting into words. Before reading the final chapter of the book, I had to put it down, lean my head back against the couch and think about the experience I've had while reading this book. Astrid's journey, her development from girl to woman, is remarkably crafted. Fitch's writing paints the arid desert and mountain brush in such fine detail. Atmospherically, this story was superb. I was totally immersed in the story, in the physical spaces that Astri [...]

    6. this is a horrifying book, not necessarily for the story's content (which IS horrifying), but for it's plot, execution, characterization, and particularly its overcooked writing. some observations: 1) astrid. the novel's protagonist, a fourteen year old girl, is a thoroughly contradictory character. some people have written that astrid is not your 'average' teenage girl and that she is 'gifted.' if she were such a girl, i would expect much more of her. i'm not a psychologist nor have i ever been [...]

    7. There must be a reason why I've been able to recall many of the books I've read over the years, but that it took me until one of my most restless and procrastibatory nights in front of the blank Word doc to dredge this one up from the recesses of memory, even though I read it within the past year or two.I'm pretty sure I know what that reason is, too: it's because on some level I'm embarrassed that I read this book, and that I actually really liked it.I'm pretty sure I know where that embarrassm [...]

    8. Onvan : White Oleander - Nevisande : Janet Fitch - ISBN : 316182540 - ISBN13 : 9780316182546 - Dar 446 Safhe - Saal e Chap : 1999

    9. Wow, this is a BEAUTIFUL MASTERPIECE and an intelligent and heartbreaking, true and honest story. When I was about 100 pages into the book, I already knew that this was going to be a new favourite of mine. Now that I've finished it, I can honestly say that this is one of the most raw books I've ever read. What strikes me the most about this story is the impeccable writing style. The main character, Astrid, tells the story in a very impressionistic way and it was beautiful! Janet Fitch has a way [...]

    10. This is some of the most beautiful writing I've ever encountered. It reminds me a little bit of Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype. It's language is deep and satisfying. The mother daughter relationship told in an almost mythical way. Loved it!

    11. Gritted my teeth to get through this and see what happened. The story itself is interesting, but the writing was so fussy and melodramatically overwrought that I wanted to toss the book away. Kept going only because I wanted to understand people's strong response to it.

    12. My aunt bought me this book for Christmas one year and at first I was really disappointed. I thought "Oh, that's nice because I like to read you just got me the Oprah book club book of the month thanks." But then I read it, and I'm now convinced that my aunt knows me better than maybe many of my close friends or better than I know myself. Not to be all cheesy and over-identify with something that isn't about me; but this book REALLY hit home for me in describing my relationship with my mother. T [...]

    13. I had heard previously how good/bad this book is. Most people have been powerfully affected by it. They either really liked it or really disliked it. After reading it, I could see how it could sway you in either ways. You could either take the story at face value and be swayed by it, as I did, or you could critically analyze it and call upon its credibility.My opinionJanet Fitch writes White Oleander in a very eloquent style. Poetic writing is not some thing I enjoy usually (since I'm pathetic i [...]

    14. It took me forever to sit down and write this review. I never wait this long after finishing a book to post some sort of review. I’ve just given up and realized it’s impossible for me to do justice to the book. It’s a full 5 star rating from me, though not (yet?) on my favorites shelf, maybe because the ending seemed a bit truncated/rushed to me; I wanted to know a bit more.This one wrecked me, it wiped me out, it was gut wrenching. I loved it. It’s my kind of book. Thanks to GR friend C [...]

    15. What exquisite writing, never have I read a book that speaks so beautifully but also describes pain so acutely. Astrid becomes a ward of the state after her mother commits a crime of passion and is imprisoned. Although her mother is behind bars, Astrid cannot shake her mother's deep hold on her. Her mother, beautiful Nordic Ingrid Magnussen. A true seductress a woman who can weave a web of destruction with her beauty, poetry and words, people fall in love with her, men in particular, she is dang [...]

    16. I can't forget her story. It's like a precise etching tatooed on the center of my brain. Her pain is my pain, her fears are my fears, her lifes mine. I take every word from her illustrated existance, using it as my own bible to crawl through this enraged wilderness where the grass is made of needles, the trees are crawling with serpants, and the water is too tanged to drink. I taste the saltiness of her tears as they stream down her face, burning, leaving behind scars of inevitable pain. I feel [...]

    17. White Oleander packs a powerful punch to your emotional psyche. Almost as soon as I started this book, I was swept away by the writing. Astrid Magnussan- just a beautiful wisp of a newly minted teenager watches as her mom spirals downward and loses control, ending up in prison. Astrid finds herself in Foster care and the story takes us on the path that soon defines Astrid's life. Home after home, fancy prostitues, starvation, to suicidal thoughts. This book does not shy away from the dark and gr [...]

    18. Exquisite, provocative, melodious novel spun by author Janet Fitch, artistic with the English language. White Oleander is an epoch/pastoral poem in the guise of a novel, a Romantic's dream, a Metaphysical masterpiece and yet underneath the beauty of language lies a gritty, edgy story of pain, lost hope, longing, desire and need; it is a journey of redemption often meeting with despair, broken glass and scars; it is a voyage of self-discovery and quintessential decisions that leave the reader uns [...]

    19. This is my all time favorite book. I love the character Astrid, and enjoyed seeing her played by Alison Lohman in the movie. I wish there were more books like this one.

    20. I only wish there were a star less than one. I wish I could remove stars. I wish there were a star deficit rating.This book almost made me give up reading all together. It is definitely the last book I trusted from Oprah. I still think she owes me money and those days of my life back. It was page after page of the most depressing writing I've ever read with absolutely no pay off.

    21. Due in part, perhaps, to the influx of "unfortunate teenage girl" novels in the mid-to-late nineties (I think here of books like _She's Come Undone_ and _The Virgin Suicides_), I avoided Fitch's book for a while (the Oprah's Book Club stigma also contributed). And while the story line did manage to keep me up and at it until 2 am last night, I must say: I'm unconvinced. Also, spoilers. I don't review books to keep them a secret from people who haven't read them; I review them to share my opinion [...]

    22. I am normally exceedingly wary of anything that Oprah puts her mark on and avoid it like the plague. However, after years of being recommended this book by many people who's opinions on such things I respect I finally pulled it off the bookshelf. Let me be the first to tell you: I have never been more appreciative of my friends. This book was phenomenal! Following the trials and tribulations of one Astrid Magnusson, the book takes you first from her idyllic life with her poet/ice queen mother, I [...]

    23. Edit--re-read March 2013One of the best books I've ever readill. In factThe writing is very descriptive, lyrical and poetic. The metaphors (and there are a lot) are spot on-perfect. I highlighted s-o-o-o many passages, and they hit me every time I re-read them. The story itself is dark and often depressing in the examination of a young girl's relationship with her disturbed mother, and her subsequent journey through the foster care system. And though her mother is cruel, I swear she has some of [...]

    24. White Oleander is a very unique and amazing piece of literature. The novel is beautifully written with a passionate and enthralling plot and incredibly vivid descriptions which make it easy for the reader to visualise every person and place Astrid encounters. I was overwhelmed and deeply touched by Janet Fitch's wonderful prose, the intensity of her descriptions, and the incredible insight into each of her characters. I adored the protagonist, Astrid. I cried with her, sobbed with her and laughe [...]

    25. White Oleander follows the story of Astrid, a young girl who is shuttled from one foster home to another while her mother serves a life sentence in prison.I'm reading this for the second time, and it remains one of my favourite books ever. It is as beautiful and dreamy as it is bleak and raw. The Los Angeles setting is gorgeous, blissful, and yet terribly unforgiving. I was so totally immersed in this story from start to finish, and I would think about it longingly when I was off doing other thi [...]

    26. Janet Fitch has an amazing gift for writing novels centered around protagonists that are flawed and scarred, while at the same time making her audience identify with and even love these characters because of their imperfections. Take Astrid, the main character of White Oleander. At the beginning of the story, Astrid's mother goes to jail for poisoning an ex-boyfriend and Astrid is placed in a series of foster homes. During the course of the story, Astrid sleeps with her foster father (at age thi [...]

    27. A work of art of a novel with complex characters. Slow paced at times but I was never bored. I love how the author wasn't afraid to show Ingrid's dark side and not shy away from it or to show Astrid in different lights. Not a novel for everyone (I didn't expect to love it) but I highly recommend trying it.

    28. Gripping from the beginning to the end, White Oleander is destined to become a classic and there are definitely none like it out there. :)

    29. After hearing so much about this Oprah-acclaimed book, I finally sat down to read it. The plot had some major potential and I was getting really interested, right when the protagonist landed in a horrible foster home where she began an illicit affair with her foster mom's 40-year-old boyfriend (did i mention the main character is about 14?). The author vividly describes the sexual details of this relationship, as well as the mom and boyfriend's bedroom behaviors. If that wasn't enough, the day t [...]

    30. One of the most beautiful writing styles I have come across. White Oleander is truthful. It does not hold back nor censor the events of young Astrid's life. A broken mother, a poet, an aesthete who cannot overcome her passions. A child pushed into an adult life, a man's world. Feminism, survivalism, religion. Family. A plethora of captivating themes and allusions. I felt as if I'd become Astrid herself. Janet Fitch has written a work of art.---Re-read this for a writing project. Still brilliant, [...]

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