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White Oleander Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook


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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio (Sept. 18 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594835705
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594835704
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 13.2 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (874 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,539,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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First Sentence
THE SANTA ANAS blew in hot from the desert, shriveling the last of the spring grass into whiskers of pale straw. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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By Farmgir on Jan. 26 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book used and it came in pristine condition. It's a fantastic read, and very difficult to put down. I highly recommend it!
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By Steph on Nov. 11 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A good read that was well written. It was an easy book to put down and pick up where you left off.
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By Melissa Dean on March 5 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoy this book a lot. It touches a place close to home.As someone whose grown up in foster care it is an amazing story for me to read. One I can relate to on some level. It's real for me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kali on May 10 2004
Format: Paperback
This is yet another thrift shop book that cost less than a dollar but unlike my previous purchase of Philip Roth's "The Human Stain," White Orleander is a book of high literary merit that you want to read over and over again because it is so addictive, like the scent of the White Orleander, and it's vicious but beauteous scent.
White Orleander is about Mothers and daughters and the complex relationships we sometimes have with those we love but don't always like.
It's a book about life, death, survival and the redemption of the soul.
Astrid is the teenage daughter of Ingrid now in prison after murdering an ex-lover and Astrid finds herself at the Mercy of the Los Angeles foster care system that is both brutal and tender.
From her first teenage love affair with one of her foster mother's boyfriend's to her life in Berlin as a cynical but gifted young Artist we have driven through a life filled with tears, laughter, and the uncompromising brutality of the human experience.
Astrid is above all a survivor and she takes from her foster life experience a new way of thinking, of understanding those around her, the good, the bad and the downright ugly.
For me the best part of the book was Astrid's artistry of life, along with her acute understanding of mother's selfish whims and desire to be "beautiful and wanted" by the world for her talents as a poet, even though she is languishing in jail.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Jan. 24 2006
Format: Paperback
White Oleander is like the poetry of Ingrid Magnussen: hauntingly beautiful and razor's-edge sharp. Like the book's namesake, White Oleander is seductive and poisonous. And it's a winner of a book. Mostly, though, it's about change.
Astrid begins the book as nothing but a reflection of who her mother projects her to be. Quiet, "flying under the radar", she is like the "clay that is happy in a good potter's hands", content to be molded and shaped every which way. It is only when she is no longer under her mother's wing - and spell - that she starts to grow up and become a real person of her own. The book is about Astrid's search for identity, and the people along the way who help her or hurt her or ultimately teach her lessons - usually the hard way - about life.
Sure, the abuse in the various foster homes borders on cliché... but it never quite gets there, because Janet Fitch has a gift for nuance. All her substitute mothers - Starr, Marvel, Amelia, Claire, Rena - would have been two-dimesional cardboard cutouts if written by some other author. But Fitch fleshes them out, makes them real.
In fact, the only static character in the book is Ingrid, and that is because she is intentionally so: a symbol more than a person. Astrid, in contrast to her mother, is dynamic, and this is why Ingrid seems to change throughout the book. She hasn't changed, but the way Astrid sees her has. At first, she is larger-than-life, hauntingly seductive, beautiful and mysterious. Gradually, as Astrid matures and begins to break away, Ingrid is revealed as selfish, manipulative, sociopathic and ultimately, small and insignificant.
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Format: Paperback
Excellent, descriptive and captivating writing about the life of a (disadvantaged) girl in California; disturbing regarding the foster home issues, violence, drugs. Yet also encouraging because of the few good hearted people, hope, love.
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Format: Paperback
I picked up WHITE OLEANDER after being entralled with the movie. I loved the movie--the atmosphere, the music and the acting. But the book? The book was even better.

I loved the unique realationship of Astrid and Ingrid and her influence on Astrid as she goes from foster home to foster home to 'the floor you can't fall below'.

This book did not need rape, drug addiction or prostitution to become a bestseller as none of those three things are in WHITE OLEANDER.

This book was incredibly well-written and poetic. And I grew to admire Astrid because the change in her life made her think as to who she is as a person, independant from her mother.

Each foster home and place Astrid stayed at was different and never EVER boring. I also loved how each place that Astrid went to showed a different side of L.A. that I had never known existed and I think Fitch captured that beautifully.

The whole book is amazing and strong in every aspect.

Reviewed by Callie at Handle Like Hendrix
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