Customer Reviews for

White Oleander

Average Rating 4.5
( 584 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(397)

4 Star

(114)

3 Star

(52)

2 Star

(15)

1 Star

(6)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

I never believed that a book could truly take hold of your emoti

I never believed that a book could truly take hold of your emotions and exhilerate your senses, but this story drew me into the folds of surprise, heartbreak, and amazing prose.
The story is told from Astrid Magnussen's point of view. She is a young girl (story goes fro...
I never believed that a book could truly take hold of your emotions and exhilerate your senses, but this story drew me into the folds of surprise, heartbreak, and amazing prose.
The story is told from Astrid Magnussen's point of view. She is a young girl (story goes from age 12-18), who lives with her mother, Ingrid, who is a smooth, freeminded poet. They live in an apartment in Hollywood, California. They go to museums, read books by Dmitry and Dostoyevsky, and do poetry readings. Ingrid uses her charm to lure in men and have carefree relationships, but she gets too serious in one of these relationships. After the man breaks it off with Ingrid, she kills him. She is then put into prison and sentenced for life.
So begins Astrid's life of foster care and life altering changes. Throughout the story, Astrid is at 6 different homes, including a children's center. Each home is filled with people and experiences that all take their toll on Astrid and her upbringing. These include: getting involved with a MUCH older man, gun shot wounds, starvation, and a death, to name a few. During her time at these homes, she corresponds with her mother with letters, in which Ingrid is still trying to shape her daughter...even through prison. Astrid soon realizes that her mother wants her to remain unhappy in these homes, so she will still be "needed" by her daughter, and so that she can still influence Astrid into becoming like her.
This is a book where you hope and plead for a good ending, but you're never sure if it will happen or not. This books is remarkable. You'll be mesmerized by Astrid Magnussen adventures. The characters are astonishingly well drawn and practically leap off the page. The writing is a work of art in itself. The plot takes you on a tour through the darkest depths of the human experience and still manages to leave you with a glimmer of hope at the end. A must read book if ever there was one! This book captures the difficulties of "broken families" and the struggle of trying to make your way in the world when you start off at a disadvantage. The languages and images are beautiful and will stay with you. It's one girl's story, but this is one of those books that gives voice to hard truths.

posted by XXXOOOBookwormOOOXXX on September 2, 2014

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Very good :)

The book was very lyrical and i loved the range of description as well. It's not the same as the book but it is worth reading for sure!

posted by Anonymous on February 19, 2012

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  • Posted August 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Flawless

    This beautifully crafted novel has a cast of realistic characters you won't soon forget. The wrtiting is pleasant and absorbing. The novel will take you in and make you feel emotion on every page. I whole-heartedly reccomend this!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    REally Great Book

    This book leaves an impression. I read it in a day,and thought about it for days after. This is one of the really great books!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 24, 2014

    Extraordinary writing,very interesting,story

    This is an exceptional book.The writing is inspired,original,surprising ....
    Fitch,understands her characters with depth and compassion.The story is riveting and hold your attention at all times.i will for sure read other of her works!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2014

    Good, but not great

    After struggling to get through the 1st chapter, I was afraid the rest of the book was going to be the same. It was a good book, sometimes very depressing and boring at the same time, and other times fantastic. The author did an amazing job of describing the characters and the different personalities.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2014

    Lovely prose and a book I could not put down.

    Lovely prose and a book I could not put down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2014

    Love

    Very poetic.


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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2014

    I loved loved loved this book!!! It can be quite depressing and

    I loved loved loved this book!!! It can be quite depressing and there's times I just had to throw the book down because it doesn't turn out the way you want. Nevertheless, this book teaches so many lessons of bravery, perseverance that come to Astrid as she matures throughout the book. If your a cryer, I wouldn't recommend it, but I loved it so much. The blend of poetry and journalism just ultimately touched my heart, I cannot express my love for Fitch's writing in this beautiful book enough. Absolutely spectacular!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2013

    Absolutely fantastic

    Beautiful and heartbreaking and just amazing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2013

    Candice to Bethany

    Go back to chapter 1 3 and read the new charcters bio! Thanks!

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  • Posted August 8, 2013

    This is one of my top five favorite books of all time. Read once

    This is one of my top five favorite books of all time. Read once a year, at least, since it was published. As others have mentioned, separate the movie from the novel. The beauty of this book is in the words, their poetic presentation, which can't be adapted on film.

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  • Posted August 2, 2013

    Great book, really enjoyed it.

    This book was so well written that I had a hard time putting it down. I was sorry to get to the last chapter.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2013

    Great Book!

    After reading the sample, I became attached to this book and its storyline.

    It was as if I was with Astrid throughout the story. I understood her. I sympathesized with her.

    I would highly recommend this book. It is a very easy read and highly enjoyable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2013

    Outstanding

    Janet fitch portrays the human senses and heart better than I can with my nose, ears, mouth and heart.

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  • Posted March 11, 2013

    This book has stuck with me since I first read it 6 years ago. I

    This book has stuck with me since I first read it 6 years ago. I have never been drawn by the first sentences of a book in the same way that this one did. The fluid and artistic way Fitch writes completely swallows you. A beautiful book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2013

    Beautiful

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2013

    :D Love it

    I couldnt put the book down so I read it in 2 hours.... thats how good it is (8

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2013

    Amaze-balls!

    The most amazing book; favorite book of all time!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2013

    Excellent

    A nice change from my normal reads

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2012

    Best book

    Love it!

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  • Posted December 19, 2011

    A must read!

    It is a wonderful read. I could not put it down.

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