Tag Archives: white oleander

White Oleander

White Oleander: I read the book and loved it. That was my first warning sign. The whole tone of the movie was different from the book, especially the end. Most of the people were miscast or had their personalities left on the cutting room floor. They tried to cram too much of the book into less than two hours and ended up just glossing over everything, including the most important part: the relationship between Astrid and her mother. I am not the slightest bit surprised that this film got such mediocre reviews. However, I do have one piece of high praise for this film: they got Paul exactly right.

White Oleander by Janet Fitch

White Oleander by Janet Fitch: Astrid is the daughter of the brilliant poet Ingrid Magnussen, a gorgeous and distant woman who has travelled all over the world. When Astrid is 12 years old, Ingrid goes to prison for murder, leaving her in a series of foster homes, each with their own rules, their own lessons to be learned. The story chronicles her life through age 18, her journey always returning to the same question of how to escape her mother’s influence, and whether she really wants to after all. On the surface, this sounded like the sort of book I’d read to pass the time, with more interest in having read it than actually reading it. I was mistaken. Utterly. I was completely sucked in, to the point where I was thinking about it during the times I couldn’t read, and had trouble putting it down during the times when I could. I read it for my entire five-hour flight from Nevada; I can’t remember the last time I found a book so engrossing. I just had to know what happened next, what new mentor Astrid, so used to being told what to do and how to think, would choose. I don’t know that I would necessarily call this book “exciting,” but it certainly was a page-turner for me. Beyond the story, the language was intense, beautiful, and precise. I could picture it all.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

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