Friday, July 6, 2012

Book Review: White Oleander

Title White Oleander

Author Janet Fitch

Release Date September 1, 2001

Everywhere hailed as a novel of rare beauty and power, White Oleander tells the unforgettable story of Ingrid, a brilliant poet imprisoned for murder, and her daughter, Astrid, whose odyssey through a series of Los Angeles foster homes-each its own universe, with its own laws, its own dangers, its own hard lessons to be learned-becomes a redeeming and surprising journey of self-discovery.

I first heard about White Oleander a few years ago whenever I saw the movie on TV. Whenever I found out that the story was originally a book, I decided that I wanted to read it (which almost always happens).

In general, White Oleander was a well written book. Sometimes, though, the descriptive language was overdone. I'm unsure of whether or not this is Fitch's style of writing or if it's somehow related to this story (Astrid's mother, Ingrid, is a poet after all).

I really enjoyed the story. While it did seem to drag a bit in some places, I understand that it does cover an extensive part of Astrid's life (the better part of nine years, I believe). I also feel like a chunk of the book could be removed (any chunk, just pick a chunk) and you'd still end up the with same storyline.

As far as the ending goes, it wasn't the best. I feel like the ending of the book was very rushed. It didn't really match the pace set by the rest of the story. When I reached the end of the book, I was sort of left with the feeling of "that's it?".

Overall, though, I would recommend this book. Even with its flaws, it's still interesting enough and written well enough to be enjoyed by most people. Keep it mind, though, that's not sunshine and rainbows at all. If that's what you're looking for, you'll be sorely disappointed.


4 out of 5 stars

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