White Oleander by Janet Fitch

White Oleander, Janet Fitch, 1999

My favorite quote: “The phoenix must burn to emerge.”

Notable characters: Astrid Magnussen, the foster child; Ingrid, her terrible mother

Most memorable scene: What Ingrid does to her boyfriend, Barry

Greatest strengths: Beautiful, poetic writing

Standout achievements: Its ability to make the reader experience the loss, loneliness, and abandonment that Astrid feels

Fun Facts: This was originally written as a short story which appeared in the 1994 edition of “World’s Best Short Stories.”

Other media: 2002 film of the same name, starring starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Renée Zellweger

What it taught me about writing: I learned a lot about the foster system and gained valuable insights into the psychology of certain personality types — all of which will come in handy

How it inspired my own work: This book is beautifully written; it brings words into my head and that’s always a good thing …  

Additional thoughts: Under it all, this is a story about motherhood. Twisted motherhood, yes … but still, motherhood

Haunt me: alistaircross.com

Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: http://alistaircross.com ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

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