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 humour, Astrid confronts the challenges of loneliness and poverty, and strives to learn who a motherless child in an indifferent world can be. 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.More
"Extraordinary. Her prose is full of startling images, snippets of poetry and one magnificent, blisteringly angry 'found' poem. This highly impressive debut takes on all the big themes." Observer
"Hard-hitting, compelling and brilliantly written" Cosmopolitan
"Tangled, complex and extraordinarily written"Observer
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