This book has been in my personal library for several years from a previous library book sale. It’s going right back into my donate pile as soon as I finish this review. I saw that it was an Oprah’s Book Club selection when I purchased it. I’ve had mixed luck with liking/not liking books with that stamp. I thought it was time to give it a go because it also met a challenge in the summer reading program.
White Oleander details the life of Astrid Magnussen and her tormented relationship with her mother, Ingrid. Ingrid is a writer of poetry with an elitist attitude and very little regard for her child or anyone else. At the age of 12, Astrid is forced into foster care as her mother enters prison for murder. Astrid’s adolescence and innocence is stolen as she marches through one disastrous home to another. The only decent home she lives in where she learns what a mother’s love should feel like is destroyed by the twisted maneuverings of letters from her mother in prison to her foster mother.
I found the book depressing, twisted and just not worth my time. I got interested and hopeful for a better outcome in the middle of the novel so I plodded on to the end, but I found myself very disappointed and would not recommend it.
Availability: COSMOS, USMAI
Review Submitted by: Sandi Hauenstein
Rating: Not Recommended
Challenge: A book with a color in the title