White Oleander

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The unforgettable story of a young woman's odyssey through a series of Los Angeles foster homes on her journey to redemption.
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 idyll 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, and strives to learn who a motherless child in an indifferent world can become. Oprah Winfrey enjoyed this gripping first novel so much that she not only made it her book club pick, she asked if she could narrate the audio release.
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More by Janet Fitch

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"A dark, crooked beauty that fulfills all the promise of White Oleander and confirms that Janet Fitch is an artist of the very highest order." --Los Angeles Times Book Review Josie Tyrell, art model, runaway, and denizen of LA's rock scene finds a chance at real love with Michael Faraday, a Harvard dropout and son of a renowned pianist. But when she receives a call from the coroner, asking her to identify her lover's body, her bright dreams all turn to black. As Josie struggles to understand Michael's death and to hold onto the world they shared, she is both attracted to and repelled by his pianist mother, Meredith, who blames Josie for her son's torment. Soon the two women are drawn into a twisted relationship that reflects equal parts distrust and blind need. With the luxurious prose and fever pitch intensity that are her hallmarks, Janet Fitch weaves a spellbinding tale of love, betrayal, and the possibility of transcendence. "Lushly written, dramatically plotted. . . Fitch's Los Angeles is so real it breathes." --Atlantic Monthly "There is nothing less than a stellar sentence in this novel. Fitch's emotional honesty recalls the work of Joyce Carol Oates, her strychnine sentences the prose of Paula Fox." --Cleveland Plain Dealer "A page-turning psychodrama. . . . Fitch's prose penetrates the inner lives of [her characters] with immediacy and bite." --Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Fitch wonderfully captures the abrasive appeal of punk music, the bohemian, sometimes squalid lifestyle, the performers, the drugs, the alienation. This is crackling fresh stuff you don't read every day." --USA Today "In dysfunctional family narratives, Fitch is to fiction what Eugene O'Neill is to drama." --Chicago Sun-Times "Riveting. . . . An uncommonly accomplished page-turner." --Elle
4.5
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Additional Information

Publisher
Little, Brown
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Published on
Sep 1, 2006
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Pages
480
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ISBN
9780759568174
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Coming of Age
Fiction / Family Life / General
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Women
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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“Ginny Moon is a brilliant debut... I was unable to put the book down…. This novel has all the elements for critical and popular success!” —Graeme Simsion, New York Times bestselling author of The Rosie Project

See the world differently.

Meet Ginny Moon. She’s mostly your average teenager—she plays flute in the high school band, has weekly basketball practice, and reads Robert Frost poems in English class.

But Ginny is autistic. And so what’s important to her might seem a bit…different: starting every day with exactly nine grapes for breakfast, Michael Jackson, her baby doll, and crafting a secret plan of escape.

After being traumatically taken from her abusive birth mother and moved around to different homes, Ginny has finally found her "forever home"—a safe place with parents who will love and nurture her. This is exactly what all foster kids are hoping for, right?

But Ginny has other plans. She’ll steal and lie and exploit the good intentions of those who love her—anything it takes to get back what’s missing in her life. She’ll even try to get herself kidnapped.

Told in an extraordinary and wholly original voice, Ginny Moon is at once quirky, charming, heartbreaking, and poignant. It’s a story about being an outsider trying to find a place to belong and about making sense of a world that just doesn’t seem to add up. Taking you into the mind of a curious and deeply human character, Benjamin Ludwig’s novel affirms that fiction has the power to change the way we see the world.

“Brilliant.” —Graeme Simsion

"Illuminating." —Adriana Trigiani

“Remarkable.” —Melanie Benjamin

"Surprising." —Eowyn Ivey

“Touching.” —Dan Chaon

“Heartwarming.” —Rumaan Alam
“Taut, emotionally intense, and wholly believable, this beautiful and uplifting debut” (Kirkus Reviews) about a young black boy’s quest to reunite with his beloved white half-brother after they are separated in foster care is a sparkling novel perfect for fans of The Language of Flowers.

Leon loves chocolate bars, Saturday morning cartoons, and his beautiful, golden-haired baby brother. When Jake is born, Leon pokes his head in the crib and says, “I’m your brother. Big brother. My. Name. Is. Leon. I am eight and three quarters. I am a boy.” Jake will play with no one but Leon, and Leon is determined to save him from any pain and earn that sparkling baby laugh every chance he can.

But Leon isn’t in control of this world where adults say one thing and mean another. When their mother falls victim to her inner demons, strangers suddenly take Jake away; after all, a white baby is easy to adopt, while a half-black, nine-year-old faces a less certain fate. Vowing to get Jake back by any means necessary, Leon’s own journey will carry him through the lives of a doting but ailing foster mother, Maureen; Maureen’s cranky and hilarious sister, Sylvia; a social worker Leon knows only as “The Zebra”; and a colorful community of local gardeners and West Indian political activists.

Told through the perspective of young Leon, too innocent to entirely understand what has happened to him and baby Jake, but determined to do what he can to make things right. In the end, this is an uplifting story about the power of love, the unbreakable bond between brothers, and the truth about what ultimately makes a family. My Name Is Leon will capture your imagination and steal your heart with its “moving exploration of race and the foster-care system that offers precious insight into the mind of a child forced to grow up well before his time” (Booklist).
The bestselling, critically acclaimed author of The Space Between Us and The World We Found deftly explores issues of race, class, privilege, and power and asks us to consider uncomfortable moral questions in this probing, ambitious, emotionally wrenching novel of two families—one black, one white.

During a terrible heat wave in 1991—the worst in a decade—ten-year-old Anton has been locked in an apartment in the projects, alone, for seven days, without air conditioning or a fan. With no electricity, the refrigerator and lights do not work. Hot, hungry, and desperate, Anton shatters a window and climbs out. Cutting his leg on the broken glass, he is covered in blood when the police find him.

Juanita, his mother, is discovered in a crack house less than three blocks away, nearly unconscious and half-naked. When she comes to, she repeatedly asks for her baby boy. She never meant to leave Anton—she went out for a quick hit and was headed right back, until her drug dealer raped her and kept her high. Though the bond between mother and son is extremely strong, Anton is placed with child services while Juanita goes to jail.

The Harvard-educated son of a US senator, Judge David Coleman is a scion of northeastern white privilege. Desperate to have a child in the house again after the tragic death of his teenage son, David uses his power and connections to keep his new foster son, Anton, with him and his wife, Delores—actions that will have devastating consequences in the years to come.

Following in his adopted family’s footsteps, Anton, too, rises within the establishment. But when he discovers the truth about his life, his birth mother, and his adopted parents, this man of the law must come to terms with the moral complexities of crimes committed by the people he loves most.

“The Tiger in the House is teeming with excitement and heart-stirring emotion. A natural storyteller, Sheehan will draw you in with her finely crafted characters and hold you tight until the very end.” —Heather Gudenkauf

Love and resentment, fear and hope intersect for two sisters as their desire to help an abandoned child forces them to face their past and decide their future . . .

Delia Lamont has had it. Though she loves her job at Portland, Maine’s child services agency, its frustrations have left her feeling burned out and restless. She’s ready to join her carefree sister Juniper and start a seaside bakery, celebrating and serving life’s sweetness for a change.

Then the call comes: a five-year-old girl has been found at the side of the road. She reveals that her first name is Hayley, but little more. The only clues to her family lead to a shadowy web of danger that reaches closer to Delia herself than she would ever guess.

As she seeks to discover where Hayley belongs, Delia is forced to reexamine her own painful history. With no guide but her own flawed instincts, Delia must decide how deep to venture into the unknown, whether in shaping the destiny of the child who has no one else to turn to—or in exploring the fierce dark corners of her own soul.

“The Tiger in the House is at once terrifying and tender, a tribute to this writer’s range in the realm of domestic drama. I read it once, and then I read it all over again. Stop what you’re doing and settle down with this one.” —Jacquelyn Mitchard

“I love Jacqueline Sheehan’s books because they’re about real life with exciting, breathtaking twists. The Tiger In the House is a gripper. From the start where we meet a five year old girl without a last name standing on the side of the road to the ending I wasn’t expecting, I felt like holding my breath. What a great read.” —Cathy Lamb

“The Tiger in the House is an absorbing story about two sisters—the strengths and struggles they share, and the secrets they don’t. Delia is a compelling heroine, sensitively rendered. Jacqueline Sheehan is a perceptive observer of the complexities of family relationships in the face of tragedy.” —Emily Arsenault
"A rich, multilayered reading experience, and an easy recommendation for book clubs." —Library Journal (starred review)

Life comes down to a series of choices.

To hold on...

To let go...to forget...to forgive...

Which road will you take?

For eighteen years, Jude Farraday has put her children's needs above her own, and it shows—her twins, Mia and Zach, are bright and happy teenagers. When Lexi Baill moves into their small, close-knit community, no one is more welcoming than Jude. Lexi, a former foster child with a dark past, quickly becomes Mia's best friend. Then Zach falls in love with Lexi and the three become inseparable.

Jude does everything to keep her kids out of harm's way. But senior year of high school tests them all. It's a dangerous, explosive season of drinking, driving, parties, and kids who want to let loose. And then on a hot summer's night, one bad decision is made. In the blink of an eye, the Farraday family will be torn apart and Lexi will lose everything. In the years that follow, each must face the consequences of that single night and find a way to forget...or the courage to forgive.

Vivid, universal, and emotionally complex, Night Road raises profound questions about motherhood, identity, love, and forgiveness. It is a luminous, heartbreaking novel that captures both the exquisite pain of loss and the stunning power of hope. This is Kristin Hannah at her very best, telling an unforgettable story about the longing for family, the resilience of the human heart, and the courage it takes to forgive the people we love.

"You cannot read Night Road and not be affected by the story and the characters. The total impact of the book will stay with you for days to come after it is finished." —The Huffington Post

"A dark, crooked beauty that fulfills all the promise of White Oleander and confirms that Janet Fitch is an artist of the very highest order." --Los Angeles Times Book Review Josie Tyrell, art model, runaway, and denizen of LA's rock scene finds a chance at real love with Michael Faraday, a Harvard dropout and son of a renowned pianist. But when she receives a call from the coroner, asking her to identify her lover's body, her bright dreams all turn to black. As Josie struggles to understand Michael's death and to hold onto the world they shared, she is both attracted to and repelled by his pianist mother, Meredith, who blames Josie for her son's torment. Soon the two women are drawn into a twisted relationship that reflects equal parts distrust and blind need. With the luxurious prose and fever pitch intensity that are her hallmarks, Janet Fitch weaves a spellbinding tale of love, betrayal, and the possibility of transcendence. "Lushly written, dramatically plotted. . . Fitch's Los Angeles is so real it breathes." --Atlantic Monthly "There is nothing less than a stellar sentence in this novel. Fitch's emotional honesty recalls the work of Joyce Carol Oates, her strychnine sentences the prose of Paula Fox." --Cleveland Plain Dealer "A page-turning psychodrama. . . . Fitch's prose penetrates the inner lives of [her characters] with immediacy and bite." --Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Fitch wonderfully captures the abrasive appeal of punk music, the bohemian, sometimes squalid lifestyle, the performers, the drugs, the alienation. This is crackling fresh stuff you don't read every day." --USA Today "In dysfunctional family narratives, Fitch is to fiction what Eugene O'Neill is to drama." --Chicago Sun-Times "Riveting. . . . An uncommonly accomplished page-turner." --Elle
“The Joy Luck Club is one of my favorite books. From the moment I first started reading it, I knew it was going to be incredible. For me, it was one of those once-in-a-lifetime reading experiences that you cherish forever. It inspired me as a writer and still remains hugely inspirational.” —Kevin Kwan, author of Crazy Rich Asians

Amy Tan’s beloved, New York Times bestselling tale of mothers and daughters

Four mothers, four daughters, four families whose histories shift with the four winds depending on who's "saying" the stories. In 1949 four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, begin meeting to eat dim sum, play mahjong, and talk. United in shared unspeakable loss and hope, they call themselves the Joy Luck Club. Rather than sink into tragedy, they choose to gather to raise their spirits and money. "To despair was to wish back for something already lost. Or to prolong what was already unbearable." Forty years later the stories and history continue.

With wit and sensitivity, Amy Tan examines the sometimes painful, often tender, and always deep connection between mothers and daughters. As each woman reveals her secrets, trying to unravel the truth about her life, the strings become more tangled, more entwined. Mothers boast or despair over daughters, and daughters roll their eyes even as they feel the inextricable tightening of their matriarchal ties. Tan is an astute storyteller, enticing readers to immerse themselves into these lives of complexity and mystery.
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