Friday Recommends is a weekly meme hosted by Dani at Pen to Paper meant to call attention to great books we've read in the past.
This week, my pick is White Oleander by Janet Fitch. This book is spectacularly written and features a wonderful heroine. Here's the summary from the author's website:
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.
Tough, irrepressible, funny, and warm, Astrid is one of the most indelible characters in recent fiction. White Oleander is an unforgettable story of mothers and daughters, burgeoning sexuality, the redemptive powers of art, and the unstoppable force of the emergent self. Written with exquisite beauty and grace, this is a compelling debut by an author poised to join the ranks of today's most gifted novelists.This book is one of my favourites and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a piece of beautiful prose. Inspirational and haunting, the back and forth pull between Astrid and her manical mother Ingrid is magnetic. I admire Janet Fitch's creation greatly and I think everyone, especially writers, should take a look at what is truly a work of art.