Astrid is the only child of a single mother, Ingrid, a brilliant, obsessed poet. Astrid worships her mother and cherishes their private world full of ritual and mystery — but their idyll is shattered when Ingrid falls apart over a lover. Deranged by rejection, she 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 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.