The White Oleander by Janet Fitch is one of my favorite novels. Description courtesy of Amazon:
"Everywhere hailed as a novel of rare beauty and power, White Oleander tells the unforgettable story of Ingrid, a brilliant poet imprisoned for murder, and her daughter, Astrid, whose odyssey through a series of Los Angeles foster homes-each its own universe, with its own laws, its own dangers, its own hard lessons to be learned-becomes a redeeming and surprising journey of self-discovery."
Read this novel for a harrowing tale that has the potential to change your outlook on daily life. Fitch also has another book, Paint it Black, another amazing novel which I would also highly recommend. Description also from Amazon:
"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."
Fitch's unapologetic writing will draw in nearly every reader. Be warned, though, these novels are not about the sunny side of life.
Note: both photos from the respective Amazon links, and neither the photos or the lovely cover art, are our own.