Skip to main content

Book 129: "White Oleander" by Janet Fitch

Title: White Oleander
Author: Janet Fitch
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company, 9/1/2006
Read In: Nook ePub

I have been wanting to read this book since I saw the movie however many years ago. The movie is actually a very good adaptation. This book centers around Astrid Magnussen and her relationship with her mother, Ingrid. Ingrid, early in the book, commits murder forcing Astrid into the foster care system. While Ingrid is described as the more compelling charcter, Astrid and her unique perspectives drive this novel. The novel is beautifully written with explicit description. This is fitting especially because Astrid is an artist; since this novel is written in first person perspective, the despription is how Astrid views the world: and ever-changing art piece.

This book gives incredible insight to the ups and downs of the foster care system. During Astrid's six years of foster care she lives in five foster homes, has an extended hospital stay, and one foster care center. This book takes the reader, through Astrid, through the horrific trauma of a foster child with no family. It carries a very strong feminist tendancy, focusing on primarily female characters and exploring their strengths and weaknesses. Astrid goes through several versions of herself before she finds her inner strength, who she is, and what she values. Each version of her gives her a different artistic venue and style.

I really enjoyed this book. It is filled with compelling characters and differing perspectives on life. It isn't afraid to be horrific, yet finds the beauty in those events. Really the story is horrifically beautiful, much like the characters.


  1. I confess that I have not yet read this classic, but will now pursue it. Thanks Laurel for the insightful review!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Book 154: "Poison or Protect" by Gail Carriger

Title: Poison or Protect
Author: Gail Carriger
Genre: Novella, Steampunk, fantasy
Publisher: Gail Carriger, LLC
Read in: Nook ePub

Have you noticed that I adore Gail Carriger and everything she writes? Not yet? Well, now you know. This is the first in a series of novellas that Carriger plans to write. As with all of her work thus far, I loved it.

This novella series will follow the Finishing School characters once they are adults. This first installment is a story about Preshea. I can't say too much, given the short nature of this story, without giving spoilers. But I loved learning more about a character that was in opposition to the main characters of Finishing School. (If you can deconstruct that sentence). Be forewarned... it's steamy! This was the perfect tide-over story to get me through until Imprudence released (review to come soon!) and I'm counting on the coming releases of more novellas to get me through the next two years until the next installment of The Custard P…

Book 165: "Xoe: Vampires, and Werewolves, and Demons, Oh My!" By Sara Roethle

Title: Xoe: Vampires, and Werewolves, and Demons, Oh my! (Xoe Myers #1)
Author: Sara Roethle
Read in: Kindle eBook
Genre: Urban Fantasy- Young Adult

This is not a great book. It is shallow, over-descriptive, and incredibly predictable.  There are grammar errors everywhere. It is pretty much what you would expect from the Twilight fanbase of authors that are still following Stephanie Meyers in angsty Urban Fantasy.

The more of these books I read (I keep picking them up hoping that one day I'll find a gem) the more I wonder if teenagers are really so stupidly trusting. Would they actually meet some hot guy in the woods and immediately believe he is on their side so much to the extent that they trust him to protect them, stay in their room, and basically turn into a controlling stalker- all in the name of "love"? This one started out differently- the protagonist actually really didn't trust the hot new stranger. And turned out to be right that he was dangerous and crazy. H…

Book 161: "Romancing the Inventor" By Gail Carriger

Title: Romancing the Inventor
Author: Gail Carriger
Genre: Steampunk Urban Fantasy Novella
Read In: Nook ePub

So, my fellow readers, I'm sure you know that this is a novella by Gail Carriger. If you've been following me long, you know that means I most likely adored it. You are correct. Carriger strikes again; she has yet to disappoint me with one of her pieces, novel, short story, or novella. This novella is a long-awaited story featuring Genevieve  Lefoux. Madam Lefoux is one of my favorite characters in The Parasol Protectorate and the Finishing School Series, so it is extra nice to get yet another glimpse of her later in life- after the Parasol Protectorate Series has ended. In fact, many of the beloved characters from The Parasol Protectorate make an appearance, including Alexia and Conall.

The protagonist of the story is a new character. This is a GBLTQ friendly story (obviously, since it focuses on Madame Lefoux). I liked this novella because I thought it much closer to he…