Wednesday, March 5, 2008
White Oleander by Janet Fitch
Astrid Magnussen is a 15 year old girl, living in California. Her mother, Ingrid, is a beautiful, free-spirited poet. Their life, though unusual, is satisfying until one day, a man named Barry Kolker (that her mother refers to at first as "The goat man") comes into their lives, and Ingrid falls madly in love with him, only to have her heart broken, and her life ruined. For revenge, Ingrid murders Barry with the deadly poison of her favourite flower: The White Oleander. She is sent to prison for life, and Astrid has to go through foster home after foster home. Throughout nearly a decade she experiences forbidden love, religion, near-death experiences, drugs, starvation, and how it feels to be loved. But throughout these years, she keeps in touch with her mother via letters to prison. And while Ingrid's gift is to give Astrid the power to survive, Astrid's gift is to teach her Mother about love.
This book was incredible. I finished it last weekend. The beginning of the book was a little slow and metaphoric. As soon as Astrid got to her first foster home, though, it picked up. The story was fabulously told. Astrid is a very believable character. Fitch is a great author and I plan to read her next book. Every time Astrid went to her new home it was like another amazing story. This book kept me thinking days after I was finished. I really enjoyed this book and bet others did as well.