Sunday, March 4, 2012

White Oleander, Janet Fitch

The Santa Anas blew in hot from the desert, shriveling the last of the spring grass into whiskers of pale straw. Only the oleanders thrived, their delicate poisonous blooms, their dagger green leaves.

I really loved the wonderful imagery in this book. You can already see the landscape from the first two sentences. This book tells the story of Ingrid, a brilliant poet in prison for murder, and her daughter Astrid, who travels through a series of LA foster homes. Each of the homes is its own universe, with separate laws, separate dangers and hard lessons to be learned. But it becomes a surprising journey of self-discovery, and I really enjoyed traveling with Astrid through the various places that she lives. Astrid has happy moments and sad moments, moments when she doesn't quite know who she is or what she believes in. And I really loved that. Also, Astrid's narration is so moving, and her character is quite distinctive. It was a really great book.

Read White Oleander:

  • if you like books about journeys (symbolic, metaphorical or otherwise)
  • if you're looking for a great emotional novel 
446 pages, 5 stars.

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