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Extended Audio Sample White Oleander Audiobook, by Janet Fitch Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (134,120 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Janet Fitch Narrator: Oprah Winfrey Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2006 ISBN: 9781594835711
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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 world 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 humor, Astrid confronts the challenges of loneliness and poverty, striving to learn who a motherless child in an indifferent world can become.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Ms. Fitch is…concerned with the ghostlike role that the ferocious Ingrid plays in her daughter’s memory once she has left for prison. What keeps White Oleander from devolving into a television mini-series is Ms. Fitch’s aptitude for delineating Astrid’s inner life.” 

    New York Times

  • “Fitch’s startlingly apt language relates a story that is both intelligent and gripping.” 

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A first-rate debut about a teenaged girls arduous six-year journey of self-discovery.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “This novel will surely be hailed as one of the best novels of the year and is likely the best debut this reviewer has ever read…Heartbreaking, but without a trace of sentimentality, this novel provokes amazement that children like Astrid can emerge whole and capable after what we know are even worse childhoods than hers.”

    Library Journal

  • An Oprah’s Book Club Selection in 1999
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A #1 USA Today Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vishaka Sriram | 2/9/2014

    " Why are you reading this? Just go read the book! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amanda Burdick | 1/25/2014

    " Astrid's transformation throughout her teen years in this book is unsettling and yet stunning. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 1/1/2014

    " Dark, depressing, lyrical at times. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sara Snelling | 11/1/2013

    " While I somewhat appreciated the language, I truly felt down about the subject. I've read many books with somewhat unfortunate stories, but if I learn something valuable or the writing is gorgeous I enjoy it for those qualities. Somehow this one left a bad taste in my mouth and for me, the writing didn't rise up enough to redeem the tone. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Molly Determann | 10/30/2013

    " I am in love with this book. I could read it over and over again. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ann | 10/13/2013

    " I loved this book. It is a remarkable portrait of a young girl going through the foster care system. There is beautiful imagery and excellent story telling. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linnea | 10/11/2013

    " I didn't know it, but it makes sense this was on Oprah's Book Club. It was a haunting read, like most of the books I've read in her club. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Veronica | 10/11/2013

    " Currently re-reading this book. I read this back in High School, and I don't think I can justify why I've loved this book for so many years now because it's been a while. But one thing I can remember is how this book made me feel like, and I want to relive it and give my inputs after I've read it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Arianna | 10/9/2013

    " Janet Fitch uses words like musical instruments. Bravo! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Danielle | 9/29/2013

    " This book is one of my favorite books of all time. It's been a long time since I've read it though so I'm looking at my bookcase right now considering breaking it back out to relive this wonderful book. I'll wait until then to write a more thorough review! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elicia | 9/20/2013

    " A poetic and interesting story that runs a bit long, and gets more depressing in exponential degrees as the pages turn. The characters are well developed and fascinating, and the relationship between mother and daughter is one unlike any I've heard about. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Allyson | 9/16/2013

    " without a doubt my all time FAVORITE book. I have probly read my copy 3 times "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennifer Minar-Jaynes | 5/15/2013

    " One of my favorite books. I rarely ever read a book more than once--but have read this one SEVERAL times. Fitch's prose is beautiful and her characters are incredibly well-drawn. I would highly recommend to pretty much anyone. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jeanette | 12/21/2012

    " I tried so hard to like this book...for the life of me, I just couldn't do it. It felt impossible to get through. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sezin Koehler | 11/10/2012

    " Amazing and heady, just like the titular flower. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth | 10/30/2012

    " This is what fiction should look like. Good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melissa | 10/12/2012

    " So beautifully written....sometimes I would just pause and love a sentence. Fitch is a very poetic writer. That said, this book was just too deeply sad for me at times to warrant 5 stars. I'm interested in reading her other books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nancy | 7/21/2012

    " The dysfunctional American family...and the dysfunctional American system. There is a lot of drama in this book, and though I was sometimes captured by the story, many times I was just wondering...really? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brittany | 6/18/2012

    " One of my favorite books, but one of the worst movie adaptations. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melissa | 2/29/2012

    " Love this book and also love the movie! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erin | 10/13/2011

    " This is my favourite book of all time. I saw the movie first, and loved that as well. Fitch does an amazing job of capturing a unique relationship between mother and daughter. I find myself rereading this book every few years, mostly for the beautiful description and dialogue. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachelle | 8/17/2011

    " Loved the book thought it was very well written. I would like to see the movie- I believe it had Gwenyth Paltrow in it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hannah | 8/14/2011

    " I remember being captivated by the movie and seeking out the book. It's really well written and although it didn't stay with me (I'm adding it now because I saw it on another friend's list) I remember it being a story that I really enjoyed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melissa | 6/24/2011

    " Beautiful and tragic, dark but filled with light hearted moments. Highly recommend! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Morgan | 5/27/2011

    " AMAZING novel! You don't find many like this. I feel like I could relate to Astrid because she's alone in this world. And in truth, all you really have is yourself. And god (: "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Malysa | 5/22/2011

    " I used to think this book was the bee's knees. I guess it still holds up. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carli | 5/21/2011

    " such a great book. about a young girl trying to find herself after her mother is convicted of murdering her boyfriend. her mother is still controling her from behind bars in prison while Astrid tries to break free. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nikita | 5/21/2011

    " BESST BOOK EVER! Seriously amazing, a must read!, "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karter | 5/20/2011

    " very interesting - tells a lot about being in foster care
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jarica | 5/18/2011

    " I thought this book was a true page turner and loved the story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shawna | 5/18/2011

    " Fantastic book. I re-read it at least once a year. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nathalie | 5/13/2011

    " Disturbing, a bit on the long side, sad what parents can do to their own children... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Angela | 5/9/2011

    " One of the first Adult novell i read orver 12 years ago, great read! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janet | 5/5/2011

    " Well, what was I supposed to rate it?
    I did work awfully hard on W.O.... still like it. Sad to think Oprah's book club is all over, it was quite an experience. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachael | 5/3/2011

    " Very dark and disturbing book, but very good! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 4/26/2011

    " i love how books are way better then the movie. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mel | 4/20/2011

    " Loved it. A book that isn't predictable and like any other. A life story so horrifying and suspenseful that it kept me hooked. "

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About the Author
Author Janet Fitch

Janet Fitch’s first novel, White Oleander, a number-one bestseller and Oprah’s Book Club selection, has been translated into twenty-four languages and was made into a feature film. A native of Los Angeles, Fitch currently teaches fiction writing in the Master of Professional Writing Program at the University of Southern California.

About the Narrator
Through the power of media, Oprah Winfrey has created an unparalleled connection with people around the world. As host and supervising producer of the top-rated, award-winning The Oprah Winfrey Show, she entertained, enlightened, and uplifted millions of viewers for twenty-five years. Her accomplishments as a global media leader and philanthropist have established her as one of the most respected and admired public figures today.