White Oleander

  • by Janet Fitch
  • Narrated by Oprah Winfrey
  • 6 hrs and 25 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

An Oprah's Book Club® May 1999 Selection Astrid is the only child of a single mother, Ingrid, a brilliant, obsessed poet who wields her luminous beauty to intimidate and manipulate men. Astrid worships her mother and cherishes their private world full of ritual and mystery-but their idyll is shattered when Astrid's mother falls apart over a lover.Deranged by rejection, Ingrid murders the man, and is sentenced to life in prison. White Oleander is the unforgettable story of Astrid's journey through a series of foster homes and her efforts to find a place for herself in impossible circumstances. Each home is its own universe, with a new set of laws and lessons to be learned. With determination and humor, Astrid confronts the challenges of loneliness and poverty, and strives to learn who a motherless child in an indifferent world can become. Tough, irrepressible, funny, and warm, Astrid is one of the most indelible characters in recent fiction. White Oleander is an unforgettable story of mothers and daughters, burgeoning sexuality, the redemptive powers of art, and the unstoppable force of the emergent self. Written with exquisite beauty and grace, this is a compelling debut by an author poised to join the ranks of today's most gifted novelists.

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What the Critics Say



An Oprah Book Club selection
"...[an] impressive first novel.... her startlingly apt language relates a story that is both intelligent and gripping." (The New York Times Book Review)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Good book, bad audiobook.

I absolutely love The White Oleander. Janet Fitch writes with beautiful synchronicity about Astrid's lonely journey through the LA foster care system. The first time I read this book was my senior year of high school. I'd been wanting to reread it, but couldn't find the time, so I purchased it with my Audible account. I was disappointed to find that Audible didn't have the Unabridged version. I feel like it took a lot out of the book and was very disappointed to find that the only parts they left in were they ones they put in the movie. This is an amazing book that I would recommend to anyone, but DO NOT get it on audiobook if you want to experience how amazing it is in its entirety.
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- John

Skipped two foster homes, I quit halfway

I'm going to try to return this, but this was a bad version of the book. I love the book and reread it every year. Oprah made the characters sound dumb and had these contrived fake accents, I could have dealt with it if it was honest to the story, but it skipped two homes at least before I quit listening. That's fine for a movie, but why skip pieces of an audio book?
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- Lisa Kendall

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-26-2009
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio