White Oleander

  • by Janet Fitch
  • Narrated by Oprah Winfrey
  • 6 hrs and 21 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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. Oprah Winfrey enjoyed this gripping first novel so much that she not only made it her book club pick, she asked if she could narrate the audio release.

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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

White Oleander

I was caught up in the rhythm and language of this book from the first paragraph...In its original form. Too much is lost in the edited version. Oprah has a very rich voice, but I think the maturity and depth is wrong for this book. I hope Audible will post a different version when/if one is available.
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- Tracy

Like the wings of a dark bird on a September night

This book has more adjectives then a democratic convention. Fluff that takes it's time getting to the point. I found the story interesting but was VERY disappointed that 1) it is the abridged version 2) it isn't true. (my fault for not checking) Top that off with Oprah's reading. I've nothing against Oprah but there is a time and a place for everything. It's hard to get the feeling that a teenaged blond white girl is telling the story who has a voice and accent like Oprah's. Everyone in the story had a "unique" accent that didn't fit (or even come close to) the background they were supposed to be from. This is just a bad match.
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- Rebekah Lee

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-16-1999
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio