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.
What Lies Beneath
White Oleander Summary & Study Guide
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White Oleander is the story of a young girl, Astrid Magnussen, who in the beginning of the book lives in Los Angeles. She lives with her mother, Ingrid Magnussen, and what memory is left of her father, Klaus. Although Astrid is with her mother, her mother acts as if she is alone.
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Richly stylized performances from Michelle Pfeiffer and Ren
If anyone tries to tell you that "White Oleander," the movie adaptation of Janet Fitch's highly successful first novel, is a moving story about growth, redemption and self-discovery, don't buy it -- no picture as entertaining as this one deserves to be saddled with those Oprahville catchphrases. But at its best it offers pleasures similar to those of s women's melodramas -- pictures in which the heroine, to borrow a line from Thelma Ritter in "All About Eve," suffers everything but the hound dogs yapping at her rear end. In "White Oleander," it's a sensible but troubled young girl named Astrid Alison Lohman who's suffering these trials and tribulations, which include a crazed, jealous foster mom with a gun, and a real mom who's more dangerous even without a gun. Astrid's mother, Ingrid Michelle Pfeiffer , is a charismatic but intensely controlling woman who's serving a jail sentence for killing her deceitful boyfriend. She's also an artist, of the stripe who think they're a superior species -- she doesn't come right out and say it, but in her mind, there's no reason she shouldn't get away with murder. Before Ingrid lands in jail, though, we're given a glimpse of the tenuously harmonious relationship she and Astrid have built in their artsy but sparely tasteful Southern California home. Ingrid has force-fed Astrid plenty of strict instructions in how to be a free-thinking woman just like herself; Astrid is smart enough to catch on to the irony of Ingrid's particular brand of brainwashing, but it takes her most of the movie to really free herself from it.