Wednesday, December 31, 2008

White Oleander

Title: White Oleander

Author: Janet Fitch

Pages: 446

Genre: Fiction

Rating: 3/5

"Oleander time," she said. "Lovers who kill each other now will blame it on the wind."

Ingird Magnussen is sent to prison for murder and has left behind her daughter, Astrid to be sent into foster care. The story tells of the different foster homes Astrid finds herself in. The different worlds, the different rules, and different lessons.

Throughout the book and through the different families Astird belongs to, one thing is constant. Leaving. While reading this novel, I really felt for Astrid and the absence of love that she so desperately craved. She experienced so many different types of pain and hell. She often felt disconnected with society.

" To them, pain was a country they had heard of, maybe watched a show about on TV, but one whose stamp had not yet been made in their passports. where could I find a place where my world connected to theirs?"

The message I think the author is trying to convey in this novel is that we all live completely different worlds. Different struggles, different wars, even different joys. What a better way to convey that than someone in foster care. I think that the author was successful in portraying this message. The only thing I would have liked to see a little different, is that not every home is hell. Not every family is so destructive. There is goodness out there and that was never shown in the story. It was quite jaded in that way.

At the end of the book after all Astrid has gone through, she still yearns for a life with her mother. It is a great story with great character development with both Astrid and Ingrid. There is a great ending to a great story, and one that will leave me thinking differently about those around me.


Trish said...

I read this one years and years ago and don't remember much of the details but I do remember really liking it. I'll have to re-read it someday!

Robin of My Two Blessings said...

Sounds like an interesting book. Will have to look into it.


StacyH said...

This is always on my top ten list of favorite books.

Excellent review!

Jessica said...

Congrats on finishing a Lit Flicks selection! I haven't read this one, but I did see the movie. I liked how each of the stories were semi-intertwined, but it was rather strange.

Anonymous said...

I was shocked by this book and I agree that all the foster families had such negativity - maybe that's not the best word, but I had prior to this book thought foster parents had to be awesome giving tremendously loving people (yep, I am naive?) and to find out that some foster mom would only give a kid one pat of butter a day for food just was horrid. so sad.