White Oleander by Janet Fitch


White Oleander by Janet Fitch

What’s it all about? The blurb says it is a passionate, hypnotic and dangerous novel about a daughter and her mother. Astrid has been raised by her mother, Ingrid, a beautiful, headstrong poet. Astrid’s world revolves around Ingrid;she forgives her everything.Until Ingrid commits a crime of passion…


If there is one book that has grabbed me by the heart and is refusing to let go, it is this one. From the opening pages I found it unputdownable and carried it everywhere with me until I had finished it… At which point I wanted to start it all over again. As fate or good fortune would have it, I picked up this book after finding myself watching the film adaptation by accident late one night. There was nothing on the telly blah blah blah and so I was window shopping on line when it came on unnoticed. Within minutes of the opening scenes I was hooked. More importantly, within minutes of the film finishing I had opened up the lap top and was so inspired I found myself typing the beginnings of my first novel…. at around 2am! For me, it was the spellbindingly written relationship between a manipulative mother and a trusting daughter who puts her on a pedestal. The fact that Ingrid is a poet adds another quality to the novel as small pieces are interwoven in the plot and work in unison with the beautiful imagery created throughout. Astrid is a young and vulnerable girl with her head always stuck in her sketch book. After her mother is sent to prison she moves from dysfunctional home to dysfunctional home telling the tale of each new start as she goes.
This is a great book for so many reasons and I would love to hear your views, but if nothing else it is a fine read for any creative soul who has found themselves lost and confused by the world around them, particularly the dysfunction of adults who should know better. PLEASE LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS ON THIS BOOK IF YOU HAVE READ IT….


6 responses to “White Oleander by Janet Fitch

  1. I love this book! It is on my top 5 list……….or maybe my top 6 (I don’t remember). The movie was good, but (as usual) it couldn’t touch the book!! Absolutely fabulous in every way……..but of course, that makes me think of the others that are tops………. Books are our salvation! Thanks for the reminder, Vanessa. ~ Love, B

    • Oh I know, isn’t it just beautiful…and yes the book offers way more than the film, but I did think Ingrid was played brilliantly by Michelle Pfeiffer! So glad it is one of your faves too… Who else ranks in the top 5 for you then?

      • As fiction goes, I’d say “She’s Come Undone” by Wally Lamb, “Glass Castle” by Jeanette Wells, “Before Women Had Wings” by Connie Mae Fowler, “Pull of the Moon” by Elizabeth Berg, “Beach Music” by Pat Conroy, and “The Ice Queen” by Alice Hoffman. I know that’s six and I could go on and on. 🙂 In truth, almost anything by Alice Hoffman, Elizabeth Berg, Amanda Eyre-Ward, Charles Martin or Charles Frazier is worth many a sleepless night of reading!

      • I thought of a few more – The Art of Racing in the Rain (more light-hearted but good), The Traveler’s Gift, Kite Runner, and Water for Elephants. 🙂

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