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White Oleander

by Janet Fitch

White Oleander
  • Critics' Opinion:

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  • First Published:
    May 1999, 390 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2000, 400 pages

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There are currently 62 reader reviews for White Oleander
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smeagol (03/21/04)

ummm, okayyyy this book is ruthlessly readable from the very first sentence, so it deserves brownie points for that. However, Ms. Fitch's writing quirk of layering simile upon simile within a single sentence can be cumbersome to the narrative at times, and as such I was compelled, on occasion, to skip entire paragraphs in order to keep with the stream of plot. Astrid's unfailing attitude of pessimism is pretty heavy-handed to have to put up with for 400-odd pages. However, the thing about this novel which redeems all of the abovementioned flaws is the perceptive observation that every household and family is a universe unto itself, with its own rules, beliefs, taboos, social structures and customs. Recommended.

- 16-year-old reader
Lindsay (11/26/03)

I thought that this book was amazing, I read it 3 times since i got it.
alisha (10/05/03)

All I have to say is wow. I'm fourteen years old, and I am going something very similair as Astrid. Being torn away from an unbreakable relationship with my mother, and taking on things I never thought possible. This book was true inspiration from the will of a girl to fight against all odds in what she believes in. It also exposes the life-style of a girl growing up through foster-care, and that not all unfortunate children are illiterate and cliche'. I honestly think that every female should read this book to see the will-power and tempatations of life, and how to overcome obstacles. This book also greatly illustrates the bond between two females and the path of finding out who you really are. This book is written extraordinarily. Please read it!
Courtney Roberts (09/16/03)

White Oleander - Utter Brilliance
i cannot believ one book can move so much. many a review will diss this book pushing it aside as they would a mills and boon. but i assure you this book is no mills and boon yet more a work of art something i will admire for the rest of my times. i am a huge reader yet not much of a writer (as one can tell from my grammer and punctuation not to mention spelling hehe) and i have read many novels although as i have grown older i have taken a fancy to auto biographys as i like to read something that i can become close to that i can attach myself to. this novel may not be an auto biog but it has the power of one. it is so descriptive and well written that it floats like a cloud in your imagination. also do not... i repeat DO NOT watch the film prior to the book, its an unwritten law and should always be followed. but on that once you've finished do watch it but do not criticise it for its lack of this and that and what it misses, yet appreciate it for what it is.... one persons interpritation of the novel, their appreciation of janet fitch;s novel.
an undying classic in my mind which should only be accepted for what it is not condemned for what it is not.
Jade (07/19/03)

White Oleander is not only a book that can uplift those in a way that was never thought possible, but it is also a book of the brutal reality we call life. Depressing as it is, White Oleander is a truthful portrait of a young girls struggle with the cards she has been dealt in life, and during this period in Astrids life, when she feels as though she is attempting to overcome impossible obstacles that she is helplessly directed to, she finds love, friendships, and a piece of herself. I definately suggest this book to anybody who is still trying to understand the depths of life, anyone who feels all hope is lost, or anyone who has about 3 spare hours on their hands. You wont be able to put it down. :)
Giuseppe Sciortino, Jr. (07/11/03)

I read White Oleander far faster than I usually finish other books of the same length. I couldn't put it down. I have to admit though, one of the key reasons I would continue to read, even when my eyes were tired and burning, was to hear the next thing Astrid's mother would say. I haven't hated a character this honestly in a long time, and it was a breath of fresh air to be engaged by a character like that. I sympathized all too well with Astrid's attempt at strength, sometimes for the right reason, sometimes for the wrong. Janet Fitch, they did your book wrong by that movie they made of it. I should have know to skip seeing it by the PG-13 rating it received.
Kathleen (06/19/03)

I want this review to say so much in the least amount of words. This book touched me. I was unable to break away from it from beginning to end. Eloquent metaphores paint the most vivid pictures. An exquisite and poignant story that I will hold close to my heart always and more than likely read again. Admittedly, I had seen the film first and would have to say the casting was impeccable. The book however, was even more gripping. Thank you Ms. Fitch for the honour of letting me share in the beauty of your storytelling.
Krysta (06/07/03)

I think this was an excellent read. It is intoxicating and hypnotic in its descriptions while telling such a tragic story. The charcters were all controlled by believable problems and each provided the reader with something to connect to and a lesson to be learned. This book allows you to realize the beauty surrounding you by painting the landscape with words. Stunning.
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