White Oleander by Janet FitchEverywhere 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.
A Close Reading of 'White Oleander'
Janet Fitch has specifically structured the novel so that the time Astrid spends in each location is weighted differently. Astrid spends between one year and eighteen months in three of her foster homes Starr, Ed and Marvel and Claire which amounts to approximately four chapters at each location. However, this time which Astrid spends with Claire- probably the most sustained period of positivity- is surrounded by individual chapters of intense experiences. Astrid spends chapter fifteen with Amelia who treats her foster girls as slaves and denies them food. Had Fitch devoted more of the novel to this situation, the reader may have begun to lose hope for Astrid.
Astrid is a twelve-year-old girl who lives with her beautiful mother, Ingrid, a poet. Her mother is the kind of beauty who turns people's heads. Ingrid sees herself as a Valkyrie who would rather rule in Hell than serve in Heaven. She sees herself stronger and tries to live her life in simple elegance. Astrid's delicate balance crumbles when her mother falls in love with Barry Kolker, who is the type of man Ingrid deems unworthy of her.
White Oleander is a novel by American author Janet Fitch. It is a coming-of- age story about a child (Astrid) who is separated from her mother (Ingrid) and.
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