Friday, September 3, 2010

Review: White Oleander by Janet Fitch

Cover of "White Oleander"Title: White Oleander
Author: Janet Fitch
Pages: 480
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
ISBN: 0316284955
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.

Okay so this one was a tough read not because the book is not good but because it was crafted so like a poem, and man almost everybody knows I'm not into poems but still I've read the book and it was soo good! For one I can relate to Astrid's pain from jumping to one foster home to another. Growing up without a mom to guide her through the way. And to be taken advantage even as a child.
Some people who have read this may not get the book as a whole but when you really put your attention into it, you can related to it every step of the way. I myself don't know what it feels like to grow up in different homes, to be with different people, to watch out for yourself at a young age but I feel her pain of being independent. I commend Astrid for being the brave soul in spite everything she went through. I had mixed emotions with this book, you can love them or hate every person, you'll learn to praise them or condemn them. Either way, it's a beautifully crafted book, designed to captivate your heart and touch your soul.
"Always learn poems by heart. They have to become the marrow in your bones. Like fluoride in the water, they'll make your soul impervious to the world's soft decay." 
NOTE: I just found out there's a movie of this. Anyone who have seen it, is it good?

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