BoekenTrol's Reviews > Witte Oleander

Witte Oleander by Janet Fitch
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's review
May 13, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: bookcrossing, books-i-own, dutch_language, literature_and_fiction, stories-of-life
Read from May 25 to 28, 2010 — I own a copy

Read this book once, many years ago. Did not pay too much attention, so it seems while reading, because I do not have a clue.... So, I'll re-read it and do better this time.

After re-reading I have a strange feeling about it. It is a sad story, for both Astrid and her mother.
The forst half of the book I liked. Single mom, trying to raise her daughter. She's a bit very strange and makes her daughter strange too, but well, nothing dangerous so far.

When the mother is dumped / betrayed by her boyfriend, she really gets mad and finds out many different ways to stalk and harrass the man in question. Eventually she kills him.

Astrid is sent to a fosterhome, then to another, to yet another. And in very new home she has to adapt to new rules, find ways to survive yet again. The relationship with her mother is nearly broken. Astrid gets letters every now and then and writes sometimes back. Her mother is jealous. In this part of the book I understood: which mother wouldn't be, when her only child is raised by others who have completely different ideas about upbringing.

What struck me later was, that (from her own words) she did not really want Astrid at first, she wasn't ready to devote herself to be a mother. And, when Astrid was little, she left. I cannot understand that.

In the end, all ends more or less well. Astrid is living her life abroad but cannot stop thinking about her mother back in California. She still carries with her all the things she picked up at the various foster families she lived in. Luckily she has been able to give it a more or less positive turn. But..."She'll always remember what time it is in California".
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